Kenyan Financial Technology company, Eclectics International has successfully developed and deployed a proprietary Shared Agency Banking Platform in Uganda.
As a result of this effort, the number of banck account holders in Uganda increased from 7.4 million in 2017 to over 13 million by January 2021. Eclectics International started this initiative in May 2018 aiming to expand financial inclusion by extending financial services to the under-banked and unbanked population, mostly in the peri-urban and the rural villages.
The Shared Agency Banking Platform has since been recognized by the IFC and the World Bank as a first in Africa. It has also been rated as the Best Regulated Agency Banking Platform in the continent.
Shared agency banking is the use of technology to enable the banked, under-banked and unbanked population to access financial services using a shared platform. In this case, instead of each bank in Uganda deploying their own exclusive agency banking platform, they opted for a shared platform.
Financial inclusion still remains a key challenge in Africa. Agency banking enables banks to extend their services affordably through a branch network of authorized agents.
This eliminates the key reason most of the unbanked rural populations do not have an account.
In Uganda, the Eclectics Agency Banking Solution now powers over 1 million monthly customer transactions of more than USD $160million monthly.
These include cash deposits, withdrawals, bill payments, school fees payments, social security, and local remittance fees.
An application is installed in one central place and uses common physical infrastructure (servers, power, network, and devices), which in this case, the POS terminals, or mobile phones are used by bank agents distributed across the country.
This implies that any bank customer from the 24 commercial banks in Uganda can visit any agent and enjoy financial services such as cash deposits, cash withdrawal, account opening, transfer of funds, cash bill payments among others.
Each of the 24 banks has an agent banking transaction and system monitoring portal, executive dashboard, analytics, and comprehensive reports.