Report on Informal Financial Inclusion in Uganda
Efforts to increase formal financial inclusion in Uganda are faced with significant challenges which are both supply and demand side in nature.
Money management, planning and the safe building of assets are core components of a larger set of economic and social skills needed to achieve a sustainable livelihood. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the obstacles women and young adults face in developing these abilities. Financial service providers (FSPs), however, are still failing to meet the needs of these sections of society. In the process, they are missing out on the potential benefits of developing the female and young adult economy.
By Former Communications Officer
Advances in Technology could be the solution to smallholder farmers’ access to financial services in Uganda. Take Enid Nimusiima, 42 years old, a member of Mushanga Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) in Sheema District, in Uganda.
FinTech holds great potential for both financial inclusion and economic development in a wider sense. Digital financial solutions have been expanding access and reach to consumers, especially the unbanked and under-banked. They have been significantly lowering the costs of providing financial services, making it possible to serve the base of the pyramid in a more profitable way. Fintechs have also enabled new business models that offer expanded services to customers and continue to generate new revenue streams for financial service providers.
By Peter Kawumi (Former Manager Competitive Strategies)
Increased access to solar energy by rural households and small businesses will drive demand for formal credit in the developing world.
Off-grid solar energy solutions are taking off. For the over 1 billion people living without electricity, the ability to use technology to access cleaner energy over time can be life-transforming. In sub-Saharan Africa, most people lack access to electricity. This limits their opportunities to education, business growth and presents significant health risks. Grid electricity remains an expensive resource for many – especially the rural poor.
By Joel Muhumuza (Former Manager, Financial Services)
Like many developing countries, Uganda is a cash economy. This is particularly true for the transportation sector. Boda-Boda’s or motorcycle taxis dominate private transportation in Uganda, particularly in major towns like the capital city – Kampala. Until recently, boda-boda drivers in Uganda’s cities and towns acquired customers by standing alongside busy roads close to where people might need transport. With the increased penetration of smartphones and the emergence of companies like SafeBoda, an app based ride hailing company for motorcycle taxis – the dynamics of demand and supply have changed, with drivers now able to accept passenger requests from anywhere within a certain catchment area. Thus matching demand and supply more accurately.
The FinScope Survey is often conducted to respond to a lack of information regarding the need for financial services. The study is designed to determine how individuals 16 years or older (i.e. adults) manage their money and the extent to which they use financial services to do so. The study also enhances monitoring changes in levels of financial inclusion over time. The 2018 FinScope survey was conducted in 316 Enumeration Areas, and 3002 adults responded. The weighted FinScope data represents an adult population of 18.6 million Ugandans.
According to Uganda’s National Household Survey 2016-2017, eight out of every 10 Ugandans reside in rural areas, with the majority engaged in agriculture, while those living in urban areas are mostly involved in the trade and service sectors.
Insight2impact (i2i), FSD Africa and Oxford Policy Management (OPM), together with Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU) – developed and implemented an online survey that sought to understand the ways in which financial service providers (FSPs) collect, store and use data in Uganda. The responses in the survey span the period from 29 August 2017 to 10 November 2017 and it is specific to Uganda only.
Friends Consult Limited (FCL) was commissioned by Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU) in collaboration with Bank of Uganda (BoU) to conduct market research on interoperability in mobile financial services in Uganda. Interoperability is defined as the ability for different systems to connect with one another.
The objective of next generation digital financial services workshop is to share experiences from the India Stack to spur discussions on the applicability and opportunities for Uganda. India Stack is a unified software platform that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to utilize a unique digital Infrastructure to solve India’s problems towards presence-less, paperless, and cashless service delivery.