UGANDA: Agency banking value grows to Shs2.2 trillion


The amount of money transacted through Agency Banking currently stands at Shs2.2 trillion per month, according to Uganda Bankers Association (UBA).

The rapid growth, according to UBA, makes Agency Banking one of the most used financial platforms in Uganda besides mobile money.

UBA together with Bank of Uganda launched Agency Banking on April 23, 2018 seeking to bring more people into the formal financial fold.

Mr Wilbrod Humpreys Owor, the UBA executive director, told Daily Monitor in an interview on Tuesday that away from transaction value and volumes, the platform has registered an increase in the number agents.

“The amount of money transacted through agency banking is Shs2.2 trillion on monthly basis,” he said, noting that this way higher than the Shs800b transacted through the ATMs over the same period.

Since the launch, Mr Owor said, agents have grown to 12,154.

Agency banking has been a major revolution in Uganda that is likely to increase penetration and counter the high competition that has come with Fintechs.
Mr Owor also noted that the banking industry has been innovating to ease service delivery, pointing to the growth of ATMs that now stands at 923 units.

Standard Chartered was the first bank to install an ATM machine in March 1997. However, agent banking has spread more than ATMs.

“Nonetheless the growth in agency banking in Uganda has been remarkable,” Mr Owor said, noting that ATMs’ reach has also been boosted by Interswitch which aggregates ATM services of different banks to serve clients though a single channel.

Mr Peter Kawumi, the Interswitch country manager, told Daily Monitor that about 630 ATMs from 15 banks are connected to Interswitch.

Last week, UBA and Financial Technology Services Providers Association signed a strategic collaboration through which the two will seek to build a system that can bring down ATM charges.