Access to financial services is still a very big challenge in Uganda, especially in rural
communities. Banks are mainly concentrated in major towns and their services are highly
priced. According to global partnerships for financial inclusion, billions of adults still remain
unbanked and inequalities persist due to this underbanked situation.
The World Bank highlights that gaining access to basic financial services—such as transaction accounts, credit, savings products and insurances—help the poor increase their incomes and become more resilient to disasters and global economic uncertainty. For women, the ability to send and receive payments, save, and get credit for expanding their businesses can be a socially transformational experience.
We have been working to improve financial services access by working with rural
communities through the School Community Banks model. This experience has taught us
that smallholder farmers prefer working with microfinance organisations such as a Savings
and Credit Cooperative, or village savings and lending groups. We have also come to appreciate the importance of digital financial services in providing secure, low-cost and contactless financial service tools to communities to improve their livelihoods.
This is the motivation behind developing digital financial tools to ease micro savings, access
to micro credit, and improve information management for the poor.