By Ambrose Gahene
United Bank for Africa (UBA) last Tuesday announced the rollout of the Debit MasterCard card in Uganda; to financially support its citizens. The function to launch the debt Master Card took place at a Breakfast meeting at Kampala Serena Hotel. According to UBA, the Card is focused on displacing cash and the electronic payment solution to deliver a quick, convenient and secure payment alternative for all citizens instantly.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, the Managing Director/CEO, UBA Uganda, Johnson Agoreyo said: “The introduction of the UBA Debit Master Card into the market will enable our customers to carry out their banking transactions in a safer, more convenient and more reliable manner. Our customers’ needs are changing and as they change, we will continue to adopt smart technology solutions that deliver superior services.”
Chris Bwakira, Vice President and Area Business Head for East Africa, Master Card said: “In order to drive financial inclusion we need to ensure all Africans feel confident that their money is secure. The UBA Debit Master Card introduces the latest global payment standards with EMV Chip and PIN technology embedded into the card, making it difficult for fraudsters to duplicate your credentials.”
He further said; the chip embedded into the card contains information that is encrypted, making it almost impossible for the card to be copied or counterfeited. “Card holders will also be able to select their own PIN, giving them full control to approve transactions at the point of sale or when withdrawing cash from ATMs”, he added.
Bwakira also said that both organizations were focused on boosting the financial inclusion across Africa. He highlighted that the partnership supported the Master Card global commitment to financially empower more people by 2020. Dr. Yinka Adedeji, UBA’s Group Head, Digital Banking said: “As a group, we are committed to driving financial inclusion and empowering businesses across Africa, and our partnership with Master Card enables us to deploy safe electronic solutions to the benefit of the entire country.”
Yinka further said; the introduction of the debit card solution is in support of the Bank of Uganda’s Strategic Plan, which outlines initiatives that will help improve financial inclusion in the country; with focus on innovation, reducing the gaps in financial education and the importance of protecting consumers.
“In line with its strategic vision, UBA is introducing innovative payment solutions that meet the needs of people across Africa. The Debit Master Card gives the cardholder full control of their funds and provides them with the ability to access funds directly from a savings or current account, thereby reflecting all transactions in real time”, he added.
He in addition said; Ugandans can visit any UBA branch across the country to request the card, and cardholders don’t have to wait days or weeks to receive the card, they will instantly be signed up and can start using the debit card immediately. “Plans are also being made to make the debit card available electronically through the UBA website”, he pointed out.
The UBA and Master Card partnership is helping to empower people through access to financial tools, with the launch in Uganda, following recent launches in other parts of Africa. This quick go-to-market strategy is ensuring that more people are connected to the formal financial sector, giving them the power to pay for goods and services in-store or online; wherever Master Card is accepted. Yinka emphasizes that; the debit card can also be used at any ATM locally and at millions of ATM locations worldwide.