Scale2Save Campaign

Micro savings, maximum impact.

BRUSSELS, 19 December 2019 – WSBI and Centenary Bank signed recently a memorandum of understanding for a new Scale2Save project to help small-scale savings work in Uganda.

Signed during a ceremony on 18 October in Washington, D.C., the memorandum outlines projects to introduce and test in Uganda a ‘No-Frills’ basic mobile-phone-operated savings account specifically designed for the low-income people. Centenary looks to launch and test the offer via CenteMobile – the bank’s digital channel.

Centenary Bank Managing Director Fabian Kasi (pictured above, at left), who signed the memorandum, noted: “The mobile account will be scaled up to 187,500 customers by its Cente banking agent network, sales representatives and staff during the pilot phase”.

The no-frills account pilot aims in the medium- to long-term to establish a “gateway-to-banking” product for low-income Ugandans. People who start with the account, set for a pilot phase in Central and Western regions of the country, can graduate to a regular savings account. From there, they can eventually gain access to the full suite of banking products, including credit. The project is especially important for rural communities to flourish.

The second innovation will introduce financial incentives for existing customers to on-board new ones into the no-frills account. The project taps into and measures the influence and impact made by friends and family to boost uptake and active use of banks and their services within the retail and mass market. A new bank account will be instantly generated at branch and agent level. It then debits the introducer’s account and credits the newly introduced account holder with the equivalent amount.

Commenting on the initiative and support from WSBI under the Scale2Save programme, MoU signatory and WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose added: “Centenary Bank is taking an innovative, multi-pronged approach to address the need for viable small-scale savings. They also look to test shared agency infrastructure with Finca Uganda, another Scale2Save partner.”

About Centenary Bank

Centenary Bank is Uganda’s leading commercial microfinance bank, serving more than 1.4 million consumers, employing over 2,700 staff and holding an asset base of UGX 2.706.3 Billion (US$733 million)as of 31 December 2017. It also has a growing network of 176 ATMs, 70 branches, and over 400 Cente Agents across the country. Centenary Bank started in 1985 with two main purposes: serve the rural poor and make a meaningful contribution to the socio-economic development of Uganda. In 1993, it transitioned to Centenary Rural Development Bank Limited and licensed as a full-service commercial bank. The bank aims to be Uganda’s best provider of financial services, especially microfinance. Centenary Bank began in 1983 as a credit trust of the Uganda National Lay Apostolate.