One of Uganda’s leading commercial microfinance banks, Centenary bank has launched paperless bank account opening – CenteXpress. This move is both intended to reach all Ugandans who cannot physically access banking premises to open accounts, and to reduce physical contact in a bid to reduce the spread of the notorious Corona Virus.
“The launch of CenteXpress comes at a time when all economic sectors, including the banking sector, are undergoing a new wave of change that has required businesses to embrace digitally driven solutions to the current gaps and challenges as a country.” Remarked the managing director, Centenary Bank, Fabian Kasi.
Kasi further noted that,” the number of Ugandans without bank accounts currently stands at 89% or approximately 16.5 million of Uganda’s adult population, an indication that there’s need to continuously introduce services like the CenteXpress to reach Ugandans at their convenience. This innovation is a step towards propelling personal and business continuity”
To make the process more effective, the bank has provided its existing customers, referred to as Digital Links, with the ability to open accounts for others in short simple steps and in less than 5 minutes, without requiring any paper work from the potential customer. This is all done using their mobile phones. For every 30 accounts opened, the Digital Links will earn a commission amounting to UGX 50,000 and an additional UGX 2,000 for each account opened.
The Digital links have to go through the following easy steps to open accounts:
- Confirm that the potential customer’s phone number is registered by dialing *197# (MTN) OR *216# (Airtel) and following the prompts.
- Using the Centemobile app, capture all the required information on the digital form provided, take a photo of the new customer’s national ID, and enter the phone number and address of the new customer.
- Deposit a minimum opening balance of UGX 3,000 on the new account
- The new customer then receives an SMS notification with the new PIN and account details to confirm completion of the process and activation of the account.
This new innovation has given the bank a competitive edge over many other commercial banks in Uganda and it will hopefully answer the pleas of most Ugandans who may have wished to open bank accounts but have often been hindered by the long processes and queues at the banking halls. The question however is whether this will in the long run act as a replacement for the bank’s account opening sales agents.
We hope that other banks will embrace this new innovation to keep abreast with the market and competition especially in these changing economic times.