Universal Accesss to Modern Banking Services in Uganda Moves a Step Closer

PRESS RELEASE: His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni joins MapSwitch Uganda to announce nationwide rollout of electronic financial infrastructure services

10th December 2008, Kampala: MapSwitch Uganda has announced the start of a nationwide roll-out of its innovative financial infrastructure service, which will enable millions of Ugandans to experience the benefits of inexpensive and easy to use banking services.

Following the successful completion of a pilot period to test the technology, MapSwitch Uganda, in partnership with Post Bank Uganda and all leading mobile telephony companies in the country, will be offering customers access to banking services via ATMs, point of sale machines, PCs and mobile phones. Currently, only 5% of the 34 million Ugandan population have access to banking services. The goal is to help all unbanked and underserved Ugandans to use the service, in addition to 200,000 government employees.

To date, over 20,000 ID Debit cards have so far been issued to customers, several ATMs have been deployed and are fully functional, with nine expected to be functional before the end of 2008. It is expected that over 200 Point of Sale terminals will be rolled out at merchant outlets by the end of January 2009.

His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda joined MapSwitch Uganda and invited guests from government, business and partner organisations at an event to celebrate this important milestone for Uganda.

His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni commented: “Today marks an important milestone towards our goal of enabling all Ugandans to enjoy the benefits of modern banking services. The development of a nationwide easy-to-access financial service infrastructure will have a transformative impact on the Ugandan economy, and is a key foundation stone for Uganda’s future growth and prosperity for all."

Michael Landau, Chairman of Map International and MapSwitch Uganda commented: “We are delighted that MapSwitch Uganda technology and know-how will provide Ugandans with a secure and easy way to open and operate a bank account, especially for those living in rural areas and who are currently excluded from banking services. We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Government of Uganda to support its economic empowerment program for prosperity for all. Bonabagagawale.”

Currently, MapSwitch provides Debit ID cards, to each and every Post Bank customer, including those seeking to open bank accounts. Each ID card is equipped with state of the art biometric technology to provide easy customer identification and to securely capture and store customer details.

With these Debit ID Cards:

1. Merchants and local Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) will be able to transact with customers at a point of sale station, utilising GSM-based mobile data technology and small local entrepreneurs will be able to efficiently transact business to business payments in the same way as using an ATM facility.

2. Customers, through the mobile banking and ATM network, will be able to make purchases and electronic financial transactions such as bill payments, mobile phone airtime purchases and repayments.

3. Electronic transactions may be undertaken by Customers securely, at very low costs, with convenience.

Underpinning the project is a strong partnership between MapSwitch Uganda, the Government of Uganda and Post Bank Uganda.

For more information on Map International and Uganda, visit: www.mapinternational.net

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