L-R: Andrew Kabeera, Executive Director, PostBank Uganda, Japheth Aritho, MD Airtel Money, Edward Nkagi, ED, Pride Microfinance Bank, Hon. Kabuye Kyofatogobye, State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Michael Mugabi MD, Housing Finance Bank and Julius Kakeeto, CEO/MD PostBank Uganda.
Kakumiro, Uganda – PostBank and Airtel Uganda in collaboration with Housing Finance and Pride Microfinance, on the 9th of August 2023 announced their partnership to support the seamless disbursement of PDM (Parish Development Model) funds by the government through a wallet called Wendi.
Wendi is a digital payments platform powered by PostBank that strategically pivots on group savings and funds management, digital money savings, transfers, deposits, and withdrawals, to drive financial inclusion within unbanked Ugandan communities.
53% of the Ugandan population is using mobile money services while only 10% of our population is banked. As a bank that has financial inclusion at the core of its operational goals, investing in a mobile wallet solution helps PostBank bridge the gap between banked and unbanked Ugandans. And because close to 74% of Ugandans live in rural areas, Wendi gives them access to the financial resources they need to be part of the Ugandan government’s development goals.
Accessible for download from Google Play Store and onboarding via a *229# USSD code, Wendi offers a wide range of mobile transactions, including paying for utility bills such as Umeme, URA, NWSC, TV subscriptions, school fees, goods, and services among others. Customers will also enjoy easy access courtesy of over 3,000 Wendi agents that will be stationed countrywide.
Speaking at the event in Kakumiro, the Managing Director of PostBank, Julius Kakeeto expressed his gratitude to the management of Airtel Uganda as well as Housing Finance Bank and Pride Microfinance for partnering with the bank on the journey of digital transformation. He also highlighted the convenience that Wendi brings to the PDM disbursement process.
“Wendi is empowering the SACCOs to manage their funds, and very importantly, for money to reach the intended beneficiaries without the need to come to the banking halls and also fill in tedious paperwork,” Kakeeto said.
He further expressed PostBank’s commitment to bringing Ugandans into the money economy, stating that, “Out of 2,540 PDM SACCOs with accounts in PostBank, PBU has already digitized 1,298 SACCOs and is planning to complete digitizing all of them by the end of this month. So far, the experience has been positive, with beneficiaries of around 205 PDM SACCOs receiving funds from the comfort of their homes, gardens, etc.”
Also speaking at the partnership’s launch was Airtel Uganda’s MD who reaffirmed Airtel’s commitment to Uganda’s financial inclusion agenda. “We shall continue to develop partnerships that will support our agenda for growing financial inclusion, a digital economy that works for the many,” he said.
Andrew Kabeera, the Executive Director and Chief Digital Financial Services Officer of PostBank, emphasized the need to bridge the gap between communities and financial services. “With Wendi, we are merging Airtel’s vast network and PostBank’s solid financial expertise while leveraging Housing Finance and Pride Microfinance’s technological know-how to bridge the gap between our communities and financial services so they can thrive economically.”
Kabeera further submitted that Wendi is tailored to the needs of the unbanked communities, allowing users conveniently transfer funds, save in groups, access micro-finance loans, deposit and withdraw money, and pay bills for URA, Umeme, NWSC, and school fees, among others. “What makes Wendi a must-have is its robust security structure; you can rest assured that both your funds and information will remain secure and private. Its user-friendly interface and personalized financial management capabilities make Wendi an essential financial tool for our unbanked communities.” Kabeera said.
Representing the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, Hon. Kabuye Kyofatogobye, State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs commended PostBank and all its partners for the wonderful idea and stepping in to support the government’s drive for financial inclusion. “We have eliminated all the paperwork involved in opening bank accounts and brought the bank to your farm with Wendi. All it takes is to dial *229# if you don’t have a smartphone to receive your money,” he spoke.
He also encouraged beneficiaries of PDM to take advantage of the opportunity to make life simpler by installing and utilizing Wendi.