Data Act - An open data economy should be multilateral and cross-sectoral

ESBG submitted its position to the European Commission on the proposed Data Act on 12 May. ESBG welcomed the Commission’s data strategy and its commitment to create a single market for data that will constitute a potential source of growth and innovation.

We believe that a European approach to data is essential to ensure competitiveness, avoid fragmentation of national regulations, and benefit from a scale effect. Moreover, ESBG members stressed that the horizontal regulatory approach is crucial to establish the key rules and principles for all sectors as, in our view, an open data economy should be multilateral and cross-sectoral.

The European Commission published its proposal for the Data Act in February and opened this call for feedback in March. The proposal clarifies who can use, access, and share data generated in the EU across all economic sectors, and on what terms. The Data Act aims to provide a harmonised framework for data sharing, conditions for access by public bodies, international data transfers, cloud switching, and interoperability.

The Data Act is based on the results of an open public consultation that the European Commission carried out in 2021, to which ESBG responded in September. It is the second main legislative initiative directly related to data, following the recent adoption of the Data Governance Act, which aimed to increase trust and facilitate data sharing across the EU and between sectors.

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Digital platforms serving the agricultural sector

Scale2Save Campaign

Micro savings, maximum impact.

BRUSSELS, 18 November 2021 - The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) programme for financial inclusion, Scale2Save, launched today ‘A case study on digital platforms serving the agricultural sector’, the fifth of its State of the Savings and Retail Banking Sector in Africa research series.

This new publication, co-authored with FinMark Trust, an independent non-profit trust for making financial markets work for the poor, explores the topic from the point of view of Financial Service Providers (FSPs). It aims to answer two key questions FSPs must consider when weighing whether to launch an online platform for farmers: Why should I participate – and if I do, what must I keep in mind? This case study looks at a variety of African agricultural platform providers and more closely at three platform models: bank-led (First City Monument Bank in Nigeria), fintech-led (DigiFarm in Kenya) and telco-led (EcoFarmer in Zimbabwe).

The emergence of digital platforms serving farmers in Africa is of enormous importance as the agricultural sector employs more than half of the continent’s labour force, and accounts for almost 20% of the continent’s gross domestic product.

Platform models are still very new in the agricultural arena. However, the use of platform services to support smallholder farmers has blossomed. During the pandemic they proved a valuable lifeline, enabling farmers to stay in touch with their value chain partners, from financial service providers to farm input suppliers and off-takers.

Looking forward, agricultural digital platforms clearly have the potential to play a powerful role as a catalyst for financial inclusion and to transform the food sector into a more inclusive one that offers viable opportunities for smallholder farmers.

This case study is guided by the overarching objective of the WSBI research series, which is to inform FSPs about developments in the finance industry that affect services to low-income customers.

WSBI’s Scale2Save programme is a six-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

The publication is available for download free of charge here.

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Case study cover

The publication is available for download here.

FULL CASE STUDY - ENFULL CASE STUDY - FRALL CASE STUDIES

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Digitalisation of financial service providers to serve low-income customers

Scale2Save Campaign

Micro savings, maximum impact.

New Scale2Save case study: BRUSSELS, 30 September 2021 - The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI)’s programme for financial inclusion, Scale2Save, launched today ‘A case study on connecting with low-income customers through digitalisation’, part of its State of the Savings and Retail Banking Sector in Africa research series.

Digitalisation is revolutionising the way financial service providers conduct their business. In Africa, the spread of mobile phones over the past two decades allowed the development of new forms of mobile transactions. Now digitalisation of African financial service providers is entering a new phase, as the widening use of mobile phones to access the Internet enables the roll-out of profitable digital services for low-income customers.

This new publication, co-authored with FinMark Trust, explores the answers to a question that many executives are asking: How best to digitalise a financial institution? The case study draws upon management consulting literature to assess digitalisation strategies in a pragmatic way. It also assesses three leading African financial organisations against this framework: Al Barid Bank, Morocco; Equity Bank, Kenya; and Consolidated Bank, Ghana.

The aim of this publication, as of the Scale2Save programme, is to identify the elements for financial service providers to serve low-income people and therefore boost financial inclusion. By opening the doors of remote access to formal savings and payments to people long excluded from them, these new customers get opportunities to improve their economic situation. They are enabled to smooth consumption, build assets, prepare against risks and improve their ability to cope and recover from shocks. In the context of Covid and its consequences, this case study highlights the importance of speeding up digitalisation by financial services providers not only in their service offer but also as dynamic organisations and as part of a digital financial ecosystem. It also underscores customer centred initiatives as a key to success.

WSBI’s Scale2Save is a six-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

Downloads

The publication is available for download here.

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ECB announces members of Digital Euro Market Advisory Group

ECB appoints 30 senior business professionals with proven experience. Members to advise Eurosystem on design and distribution of potential digital euro. Meetings of group to be held at least quarterly, starting in November 2021.

25 October 2021 – The European Central Bank (ECB) has today announced the members of the Market Advisory Group for the digital euro project.

The Eurosystem’s High-Level Task Force on Central Bank Digital Currency called for expressions of interest on 14 July, following the Governing Council’s approval of the digital euro project investigation phase. After assessing applications, the selection committee appointed 30 senior business professionals with proven experience and a broad understanding of the euro area retail payments market.

“I am pleased that many high-quality experts from the private sector are willing to contribute to the digital euro project”, says ECB Board Member Fabio Panetta, Chair of the High-Level Task Force.

“Their expertise will facilitate the integration of prospective users’ and distributors’ views on a digital euro during the investigation phase.”

Members of the Market Advisory Group will act in a personal capacity, advising the Eurosystem on the design and distribution of a potential digital euro from an industry perspective, and on how a digital euro could add value for all players in the euro area’s diverse payments ecosystem. A representative from the European Commission and representatives from Eurosystem national central banks will also participate in the group.

Meetings are to be held at least quarterly, starting in November 2021, and written consultations will be organised between meetings. The issues identified will also be considered in the Eurosystem’s established forum for institutional dialogue on retail payments, the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB). The ERPB consists of high-level representatives of industry associations and represents a wide range of stakeholders. In addition, the Eurosystem will engage with the public and merchants through dedicated surveys (e.g. of focus groups) and will continue to hold technical workshops with the industry.

Members of the Digital Euro Market Advisory Group:

Aleksander Kurtevski, Managing Director, Bankart
Alessandro De Cristofaro, Director Digital Innovation Strategy, CRIF
Antonio Macías Vecino, Head of Payments Discipline, BBVA
Axel Schaefer, Payment Regulation and Innovation Specialist, Ingka Group (IKEA)
Cristian Cengher, Product Owner Cross Border Payments, Erste Group Bank AG
Cyril Vignet, Project Manager Innovation, Banque Populaire Caisse d’Epargne
Diederik Bruggink, Head of Payments and Innovation, European Savings and Retail Banking Group
Etienne Goosse, Director General, European Payments Council
Fanny Solano, Director Digital and Retail Regulation, Transparency and Implementation, CaixaBank
Fernando Rodríguez Ferrer, Head of Business Development, Bizum
Gerard Hartsink, Chairman, ICC DSI Industry Advisory Board
Inga Mullins, CEO, Fluency
Jens Holeczek, Head of Digital Payment Unit, National Association of German Cooperative Banks
Jochen Siegert, Managing Director, Global Head of Asset Platforms, Deutsche Bank AG
Nicolas Kozakiewicz, Chief Innovation Officer, Worldline
Nilixa Devlukia, CEO, Payments Solved
Nils Beier, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy & Consulting
Paul Le Manh, Advisor to CEO, EPI Interim Company
Piet Mallekoote, Former CEO, Dutch Payments Association
Régis Folbaum, Head of Payments, La Banque Postale
Roberto Catanzaro, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Nexi Group
Ruth McCarthy, Managing Director, FEXCO Corporate Payments
Sean Mullaney, Head of Payment Engineering, EMEA Payments, Stripe
Silvia Attanasio, Head of Innovation, Associazione Bancaria Italiana
Sofia Lindh Possne, Senior Advisor, Group Regulatory Affairs, Swedbank
Stefano Favale, Head of Global Transaction Banking, Intesa Sanpaolo
Teresa Mesquita, Chief Marketing and Product Officer, SIBS Forward Payment Solutions
Valdis Bergs, Chairman of the Board, Mobilly sia
Ville Sointu, Head of Emerging Technologies, Nordea
Yves Blavet, Open Banking Director, Société Générale

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WSBI Innovation Forum 2021 launched

BRUSSELS/BARCELONA, 29 September 2021 – The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) and CaixaBank are launching today the WSBI Innovation Forum 2021 ‘The horizon of banking (r)evolution’, a 3-day online event on the latest trends in the banking sector.

We welcome both the decision to update the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP) Guidelines and the overarching objectives to increase convergence of practices across the EU and to align with other relevant EBA Guidelines. Nevertheless, the draft version of the Guidelines contains specific provisions that go further than the EU Directive (CRD). In addition, the fact that the scope of provisions set out in the Guidelines has been expanded yet again gives rise to fears that proportionality aspects under Pillar 2 will be pushed further into the background.

We welcome both the decision to update the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP) Guidelines and the overarching objectives to increase convergence of practices across the EU and to align with other relevant EBA Guidelines. Nevertheless, the draft version of the Guidelines contains specific provisions that go further than the EU Directive (CRD). In addition, the fact that the scope of provisions set out in the Guidelines has been expanded yet again gives rise to fears that proportionality aspects under Pillar 2 will be pushed further into the background.

This Forum offers an in-depth view of some of the most relevant topics impacting the sector such as artificial intelligence, data mining, cloud, instant payments and other fintech trends.

“Banks are perfectly situated at the intersection of customer interaction, big data and sheer IT-power. We have the potential to go to the forefront of innovation and I hope that this Innovation Forum will be one of the catalysts that help release this potential”, said Chris De Noose, Managing Director of the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI).

“One very important lever at our disposal to tackle the challenges the financial sector is facing is the use of technology and digitalisation, bearing in mind that technology only becomes a competitive advantage when it is used to serve citizens”, said José Ignacio Gorigolzarri, Chairman of CaixaBank.

This event, open to the public, will foster insightful discussions among top executives, renowned academics, and high-level decision makers. Among the speakers: Peter Simon, WSBI Managing Director; Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitalisation of the Government of Spain; Ulku Rowe, Google Cloud CTO Office Technical Director; Miguel Alava, Amazon Web Services Iberia Managing Director; and Alba Ruiz Laigle, Senior Director of Business Development of Alipay and Alibaba Group in Spain and Portugal.

The full programme and registrations are available here.

About WSBI

The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) is a global network of 100 members in 70 countries over four continents. Founded in 1924, it represents the interest of banks working responsibly and closely with their communities and SMEs. Together, WSBI members manage assets worth nearly $12,000 billion, serve 1.3 billion clients and employ over 2 million people.

About CaixaBank

CaixaBank is the leading financial group in Spain and one of the most significant in Portugal, where it controls 100% of BPI. The bank, chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri and directed by Gonzalo Gortázar, has 21 million customers in the Iberian market, and the largest commercial network on the peninsula. It has more than 6,100 branches and more than 15,000 ATMs, and is the industry leader in the digital banking sector with a percentage of digital customers of 70.6%.

CaixaBank is committed to a socially responsible universal banking model, based on trust, quality, and specialised products and services adapted to each segment. Its mission is to contribute to the financial well-being of its clients and to support the progress of society.

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On the European Commission's Artificial Intelligence Act

The Commission aims to turn Europe into the global hub for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. If we share this idea on the principle, it should be recognised that this is a risky bet.

The European Commission published a proposal for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act at the end of April. In parallel, it has set up a public consultation for stakeholders to provide feedback on the draft text, which ended on 6 August.

AI technology has only slowly began arriving on the market and as applications become more sophisticated, they will likely often become very unpredictable in their development. To ensure legal certainty, a level playing field and no obstacles to innovation, a clear definition of artificial intelligence is needed. This would cover the Commission work, as well as national data protection authorities, the Council of Europe initiative, and the OECD framework on classifying AI systems. ESBG members very much welcome the proposed technology-neutral and future-proof definition of AI, and the Commission’s risk-based approach to enable a proportionate regulation.

The Commission aims to turn Europe into the global hub for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. If we of course share this idea on the principle, it should be recognised that this is a risky bet. Indeed, if European values are not ultimately adopted on an international scale, non-European solutions are potentially more efficient because they have been developed in less restrictive regulatory environments and could compete with European solutions.

With regards to the acceptance of data usage, members would like to use real datasets instead of the Commission proposed ‘synthetic’ datasets. These would mimic real life situations and allow AI training in a realistic setting, without the risk of second order bias (e.g., ethnicity indication based on living area or income).

We also believe that there should be a provision in the draft text to protect European AI developers and users at international level. AI does not discriminate against physical locations, and many different countries across the world have different interpretations of copyright and liability when it comes to AI applications.

Finally, we call for clarity on the scope of the text when it comes to biometric identification of natural persons. It is not yet clear if financial services firms and their providers, who rely on biometric identification to onboard customers remotely (and comply with KYC – know your customer requirements) will be included in the scope of the full set of requirements in the AI regulation.

We support the Commission in its efforts to create a clear legal framework for artificial intelligence which does not inhibit innovation and at the same time provides security for all market participants. We are particularly pleased with the Commission’s philosophical approach to promoting “digitalisation with a human face”. We believe that trustworthy AI in cooperation with human expertise will be of great value to European society. We particularly emphasise the interaction between man and machine. We firmly believe that both humans and machines are irreplaceable. However, we must ensure that new regulation does not inadvertently cripple our markets, dampen innovation and opportunities.

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FULL REPORT

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Instant payments

ESBG supports efforts to increase uptake of instant payments

BRUSSELS, 6 July 2021 – ESBG submitted its response to the European Commission’s (EC) public consultation on Instant Payments on 23 June. The association representing over 800 savings and retail banks fully supports efforts to increase the uptake of instant payments and shares the view that SCT Inst scheme could facilitate stronger and more integrated homegrown pan-EU payment solutions.

ESBG invited the EC to foster an environment that enables the uptake of instant payments, inter alia by favouring market-led developments and limiting any eventual action to the building blocks needed for widespread adoption of SCT Inst and the resolution of any hindering factors.

ESBG and its members are of the view that SCT Inst should be considered the basis of new pan-European payment solutions and further offers. Especially in the corporate segment, instant payments have huge potential in terms of new business models that could attract new clients. In particular, there is growing interest for the combination of SCT Inst with other payment schemes (e.g., Request To Pay), which can result in innovative use cases for instant payments. Any further action taken by the Commission should duly consider the differences that exist between retail and corporate segments and the potential unintended consequences of any new intervention.

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ESBG responds to ECB public consultation on digital euro

BRUSSELS, 13 January 2021 – ESBG submitted its response to the European Central Bank (ECB) public consultation on a digital euro.

The association representing some 900 savings and retail banks welcomed the opportunity to provide its views on the possible future issuance of a digital euro but at the same time highlighted the need for further information on key aspects of the project, such as the main purpose of a digital euro, its technical implementation and functionalities, the role for savings and retail banks and other Payment Service Providers, who would perform compliance checks, as well as the interplay with SCT Inst, just to name a few. The current ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach cannot be successful in the long run. In this respect, in its response, ESBG invited the ECB to publish a second report that could provide more concrete information on how a digital euro would work, and to run a second public consultation before deciding to proceed with an implementing phase.

The ESBG response to the consultation addresses the following key themes:

Impact on financial stability

Any new form of currency brings about fundamental challenges and the introduction of a digital euro could have severe impact on the entire functioning of the EU economy. Going forward, decisions need to be taken carefully and with a clear view on the main objectives. A digital euro could jeopardize financial and prudential balances of banks, by weighing on their solvency and profitability, and by increasing their risks and fostering more severe bank runs. In times of financial distress, the demand for a digital euro could increase dramatically, since it would constitute a risk-free asset. This could spur the crisis and even incentivise central bank runs. All these elements may threaten financial stability, to the detriment of customers and citizens. It follows that a digital euro must be designed as a means of payment only, thus avoiding its use as an investment tool. To do so, ESBG and its members recommend the use of limits to holding and a no remuneration policy.

Customer and data protection

A digital euro should not only be easy to use, but also easy to understand. Proper safeguards should be in place to ensure all players are protected. For instance, if offline transactions are implemented, there is the risk of loss of only locally stored digital euro in case the device used for storage is lost or damaged. Most importantly, ESBG stressed that under no circumstances a digital euro should undermine the trust in existing means of payments. Privacy should be safeguarded in any case, and some restrictions or enhanced consent requirements may be necessary to protect consumers from certain business models that may use data on transactions to target ads or offers.

Building on the existing payments infrastructures

Europe is at the forefront of innovation for retail payments, and especially banks and payments institutions, together with the Eurosystem and National Central Banks (NCBs), provide European citizens with the most efficient payments systems available, including via digital means. ESBG believes that allowing banks to maintain their role of intermediaries and distributors of money to the public – as this is currently the case with cash – by building on existing infrastructure will ensure a high level of consumer protection, user experience and trust, as well as financial stability. At the same time, this will ensure the efficiency of the retail payment system and transformation mechanism are preserved. Instead of building a brand-new payment system, the association recommends a digital euro be integrated in the current payment system. Finally, to ensure a level playing field, it is crucial to ensure the principle “same functionalities, same liabilities, same rules”.

ESBG and its member banks stand ready to further engage with the ECB on these strategic issues in the weeks and months to come.

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FULL REPORT

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Scale2Save programme signs up FINCA Uganda

Scale2Save programme signs up FINCA Uganda

Scale2Save Campaign

Micro savings, maximum impact.

Microfinance institution project to harness innovation, broaden access to 52,000 Ugandans.

BRUSSELS, 31 July 2019 –WSBI announces today that FINCA Uganda has joined the Scale2Save programme.

Outlined in a memorandum of understanding with WSBI, FINCA Uganda will leverage breakthrough technologies to build a new business model geared towards sustainable savings mobilisation. Digital innovations such as the development of relevant and responsible mobile-based products delivered via a smartphone, agent or handset, as well as digital field automation (DFA) and data analytics form the backbone of this model. The aim is to build out more appropriate savings products accessible on mobile and digitally-enabled financial literacy modules deployed over the devices.

FINCA Uganda CEO and Managing Director James Onyutta said: “We intend to create a product to help people save regularly and affordably. The aim is to improve access to savings for 52,000 excluded customers, customise products to customers’ needs to drive usage, and enable customers’ capacity to use them in the best suited way to their situation.”

Access, Appropriate Products

Proximity to banking services remains a challenge. Some FINCA customers travel long distances to open an account or make a simple transaction at a branch. By bringing services to their doorstep or in the palm of their hand, digital channels – both mobile and shared agents – will make banking more efficient and savings more affordable. Digitising FINCA’s channels will enable it to collect more data on its customers for use to test and customize new savings products to drive regular deposit mobilisation and use. One such offer foreseen is a youth mobile-targeted savings account. FINCA will test the influence of a set of variables, such as duration of savings period, type of in-kind rewards, type of customer engagement, financial education on savings behavior.

​Financial Literacy, Win-win partnerships

FINCA intends to design a customer literacy platform, accessible via tablets and mobile phones, providing customers with money management skills and information on the services best suited to them.

Partnerships will play a big role in the project too, as FINCA will partner with other like-minded but non-financial organizations, such as youth focused and technology companies, that can bring added value to its work and help us better reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With support from WSBI, a partnership will be explored with Centenary Bank to utilize shared agency banking infrastructure.

FINCA targets mainly low-income people. That segment will remain on the radar under this project. They will test and prototype savings products and develop use cases, and focus on Ugandan youth in Kampala as well as Northern and Western regions.

WSBI’s Chris De Noose added: “Digital channels outlined in the FINCA Uganda project have potential not just to change the way financial products are distributed, but also how information and education is delivered.”

For more information, contact:

WSBI: James Pieper at James.Pieper@wsbi-esbg.org or on +32 496 51 72 70;
FINCA Uganda​: Scovia.Swabrah at Scovia.Swabrah@fincaug.org​ and Alice Lubwama at Alice.Lubwama@fincaug.org or on +256 312 227 800.

Notes to editors:
About FINCA Uganda (MDI)

FINCA Uganda is the first Microfinance Deposit taking Institution (MDI) to be licensed by the Bank of Uganda in 2004 to offer life-changing financial solutions which include: Savings, Loans and Money Transfers. Having started operations in 1992, currently FINCA Uganda has a network of 27 branches that are well spread across the country. FINCA Uganda is part of the FINCA Impact Finance Network, a group of 20 microfinance and financial institutions that provides socially responsible financial services and ​​​enables low-income entrepreneurs and small business owners to invest in the future. The majority owner of the network is FINCA International, a microfinance and social enterprise not-for-profit leader dedicated to creating economic inclusion for the poor. For more information, visit www.FINCAImpact.com.

​About WSBI

The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI), founded in 1924, represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $15 trillion and serving some 1.3 billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2016). The Institute focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the achievement of sustainable, inclusive, balanced growth and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries.

​About Scale2Save

Scale2Save is a partnership between WSBI and Mastercard Foundation to establish the viability of small-scale savings in six African countries. The six-year programme aims for 1 million more people banked in those countries through projects using innovative models.

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Scale2Save programme signs up FINCA Uganda

WSBI, BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd join forces

Scale2Save Campaign

Micro savings, maximum impact.

BRUSSELS, 24January 2019 – WSBI and BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd (BUBL) look to widen financial inclusion in Uganda by digitising low-balance savings accounts.

BRUSSELS, 31 July 2019 –WSBI announces today that FINCA Uganda has joined the Scale2Save programme.

Outlined in a memorandum of understanding signed recently by both organisations under WSBI’s Scale2Save programme – a partnership between WSBI and Mastercard Foundation to help establish the viability of small-balance savings accounts – BUBL looks to develop a Wise Save savings product. The Scale2Save-supported project will provide accounts to approximately 164,000 people at the bottom of the pyramid, especially women earning low incomes, in rural and remote areas.

The Managing Director of BRAC Uganda Bank, Jimmy Adiga said: “Evolving in early 2019 from a microfinance institution to a Tier II bank, BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd now positions itself to not only provide greater value to the hundreds of thousands of clients already served, but also to achieve greater financial inclusion in Uganda. The new banking license now enables us to offer Ugandans; savings accounts, money transfer services, deposit-linked insurance and other financial services besides credit products.”

The newly established bank will aim to support low income earners and micro depositors that have been financially excluded from the formal banking system, to gain further access to finance. This will be achieved through implementing easier means to transact, simplified financial literacy and digital education, end-to-end digitisation of the Wise Save savings product and its channels, right from initial on boarding to transacting. On top of a vast branch network consisting of 32 branches and 131 satellite offices spread across Uganda, the bank plans to deploy roving agency banking services, offering banking services within the community. Similar to “susu” collections in West Africa, the offer comes at no extra cost to customers. They also plan to offer their Wise Save account bundled with micro deposit insurance cover for every account holder.

The bank will also work with the research team from its sister organisation, BRAC International to test ultra-poor graduation – particularly in trying to disprove existing theory that the ultra-poor cannot possibly be motivated to save.

WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose concluded: “BRAC Uganda Bank sees a huge upside to digitise the Wise Save account. By doing so, the low-income segment can access a savings product tied to a mobile wallet for greater convenience when accessing financial services. That means harnessing new technology while configuring BUBL’s agency banking and mobile banking platforms.”

Contact:

James Pieper, press office, WSBI on +32 2 211 1192, james.pieper@wsbi-esbg.org;

Afema Robert, communications, BUBL, +256-772120305, afema.robert@brac.net

Notes to editor:

About BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd (BUBL)

BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd launched on 25 April 2019 and attained its current status of a Tier II Credit institution following a successful background as the leading Microfinance services provider in Uganda. The Bank operates 32 regulated branches and 131 satellite offices covering 84 districts in Uganda targeting Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs. BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd promotes financial inclusion by extending financial services to unserved and underserved populations, especially women and youth as well as people living in poverty in rural areas. The Bank is operationally and financially self-sustaining with over 220,000 active customers and a loan book in excess of Uganda shillings 178 billion.

About WSBI

The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) represents the interests of 6,760 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $16 trillion and serving some 1.7 billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2018). Founded in 1924, the institute focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. WSBI supports the achievement of sustainable, inclusive, balanced growth and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. Learn more at www.wsbi-esbg.org.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation has offices in Toronto, Canada and in Kigali, Rwanda. Visit www.mastercardfdn.org for more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter

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