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Uganda: Fintechs Taking Charge of Financial Markets – Maggie Kigozi

uganda fintechs taking charge of financial markets maggie kigozi

Financial Technology (Fintech) is taking charge of the financial sector, according to Dr Maggie Kigozi, a renowned businesswoman and former Uganda Investment Authority executive director.

Speaking during the Digital Impact Awards Africa in Kampala at the weekend, Dr Kigozi said Fintechs have shown what they can achieve, especially at a time when the world has been presented with a lot of challenges, amid the fight against Covid-19.

“The financial technology ecosystem players [should] continue to work together to address challenges. There are still a few problems here and there but financial inclusion is happening,” she said, noting the young generation has been key in exploiting opportunities that have delivered a number of products and solutions for the larger population.

In the last 10 years, Uganda has experienced rapid growth in financial inclusion, mainly driven by increasing innovations in Fintech and the advent of mobile money.

The Digital Impact Awards Africa organised by HiPipo in partnership with Mojaloop Foundation, Level One Project and UNCDF, seek to recognise individuals and organisations that are spearheading the use of digital mediums to drive financial inclusion.

The awards in which winners are chosen through a jury assessment and public voting process, saw Standard Chartered crowned the digital brand of the year while Stanbic won the best cards payments excellence award. Jumia won the e-commerce innovation excellence award while Centenary Bank won the community bank excellence award.

During the same function, Ms Damali Ssali, a trade development expert, said financial technology players, e-commerce innovators and funders must ensure that everyone is involved as well as developing platforms that transact in real-time.

“It is unfair that some informal traders offer credit to big e-commerce and Fintechs then wait for days before a payment is made,” she said, noting Fintechs must embrace the principle of same day transaction settlement.

In a panel discussion, women in informal trade around Kampala, said Fintechs and e-commerce innovators must focus on both real time payments and training, which will be key in enhancing digital and financial inclusion.

Ms Grace Akiiki, the Wandegeya Market Women Traders chairperson, said whereas a number of traders had embraced e-commerce, it was still challenging to experience delayed and sometimes non-payment from e-commerce platforms.

“When someone orders online, they order for goods that you don’t even have on your stall. So you have to use your cash to purchase the missing items and prepare this order with hope that you will be paid immediately. But then the payment delays or never comes,” she said.

Brands awarded

Standard Chartered Bank was crowned the digital brand of the year while Stanbic won the best cards payments excellence award. Jumia won the e-commerce Innovation Excellence category while Centenary Bank won the community bank excellence award.