BY SALIM KALANZI
Absa Bank Uganda and MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited have announced the introduction of mobile money payment functionality, also known as MTN MoMoPay on Absa Point of Sale (POS) terminals.
The service is open to all MTN Uganda mobile money account holders, who can now make payments on any Absa POS machine, regardless of whether they hold an account with the bank.
Absa’s Managing Director, Mumba Kalifungwa said that the new functionality makes it even more convenient for customers to pay for goods and services directly from their MTN mobile money account to the Absa device.
“Wherever there is an Absa POS machine in a supermarket, shops or pharmacy among others, you can easily pay for goods and services directly using MTN MoMoPay at no extra cost. This service will help drive cashless transactions and the benefits that come with it,” he said.
Mumba explained that the payment system would provide convenience to customers as well as support financial inclusion by accelerating access to formal financial services.
According to data from the Uganda Communications Commission, as at December 2020, the penetration of mobile connections in Uganda was equivalent to 67% of the total population.
Financial inclusion indicators by Bank of Uganda indicate that whereas only 43% of Uganda’s adult population own a bank account, 77% have active mobile money accounts.
“We are pleased to partner with Absa to offer this service which makes it easier for our customers to make payments using MTN MoMoPay on their phones. Cashless transactions are the future given the trends and increased mobile phone coverage in the country. Factors such as a youthful tech-savvy population coupled with MTN Mobile Money’s digitalization agenda will continue to propel the adoption of digital services like MTN MoMo and MTN MoMoPay,” said Wim Vanhelleputte, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Uganda
“This is yet another digital innovation from Absa as we accelerate our ambition to become a digitally led bank. I urge our customers who are in possession of these machines to provide this payment option to their customers.
“It not only offers convenience but also has a direct benefit to businesses that do not need to hold onto large amounts of cash waiting to be banked at the end of the day, and in turn mitigating security risks,” Kalifungwa added.
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Statistics from the Uganda Communications Commission indicate that there was growth in the number of mobile money accepting businesses to 32,000 in 2020 from 26,000 in September 2020.
Under the national financial inclusion strategy (2017-22), Bank of Uganda has set out to achieve a cashless economy by 2022 which involves building digital infrastructure, implementing the strategy for financial literacy (2019/24) and making payment services affordable.