Mobile banking services rolled out to credit co-op members in Tiribogo, Uganda

Sector apex CEO Kyepa Andrews says digitisation will help unlock the potential of credit union members

The Ugandan Federation of Community Credit Co-operatives (UFCC) has launched mobile banking services for members in the Tiribogo, with support from the Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC).

KFCC, which works to promote credit unions at home and abroad, launched the project in Uganda in 2017 through a bilateral agreement between the South Korean and Ugandan government. Since then KFCC has been promoting its community credit co-operative model, known as Saemaul Geumgo (MGs) in Korea. A total of 18 credit co-operatives that have 10,000 members have so far been set up in the Districts of Mpigi and Mityana with support from KFCC. UFCC was formed in September 2022 as an apex for these co-ops.

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Speaking at a launch event for the new service, UFCC chief executive Kyepa Andrew pointed out the importance of digitising credit co-operatives in Uganda as a means to unlock their members’ potential. 

The mobile banking services are available via MTN, the largest telecom company in Uganda, which has 53% of the mobile phone market share with 16.3million subscribers. Last year UFCC launched its first digital system with Airtel, the second largest telecom in Uganda. The collaborations with the two providers Uganda Saemaul Geumgo to provide financial services to 90% of mobile phone users in Uganda. 

UFCC president Samuel Mavumirizi said that digital banking services presented a number of opportunities, adding that UFCC would also work to advance digital literacy to not only enhance the uptake of digital financial services, but also prevent online fraud.

Nalubega Beatrice, a member of Tiribogo MG, said she used her savings at the financial co-op to expand her business. “I don’t have a good job. But through my little savings with our MG, I have been able to meet most of my basic needs. So members I implore you to prioritise saving as the only way. You will raise the money you need especially in this trying economic times to start an enterprise.” 

According to Ippe Robert, the IT expert at UFCC, Uganda is home to 10,497 financial co-operatives, only 1% of which provide digital financial services.