To digitise low-balance savings through Scale2Save.
Project to help low-income earners in rural, remote areas, on boarding 164,000 people
BRUSSELS, 24January 2019 – WSBI and BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd (BUBL) look to widen financial inclusion in Uganda by digitising low-balance savings accounts.
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.”
James Pieper, press office, WSBI on +32 2 211 1192, email@example.com;
Afema Robert, communications, BUBL, +256-772120305, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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