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Equity Bank Moves To Extend Banking Services To Refugees, The Poor

By Aloysious Kasoma

Equity Bank Uganda in partnership with UNCDF is driving financial inclusion in Uganda under a program called MM4P (Mobile Money for the Poor).

On Tuesday the bank  showcased the technology, process and applicability of this solution in Uganda at the Kampala Serena hotel through their biometric card solutions that will enable secure electronic cash transfer to refugees.

Equity Bank is giving refugees the tools they need to increase their resilience.

It is also helping development partners get efficient and transparent solutions for cash transfers.  Other Equity Bank partners include UN, World Bank and Financial Sector Deepening among others.

This system will be scaled up using the agency banking model that the bank recently launched with support from UNCDF.

Equity Bank in Kenya is currently running a program called the national hunger safety net program with 420,000 beneficiaries with total funds disbursed at 4.79 billion Kenya shillings.

Speaking at the launch, Allan Waititu, the Director Operations at Equity Bank said that a number of households in the areas of Kigeme, Nyabiheke, Gihembe, Kiziba and Mugomba refugee communities in Kenya have been covered under this system.

“They receive cash through our agents within the camps because delivering cash through mobile bullion vans is expensive and risky,” he told Business Focus. Uganda hosts over 1.4 million refugees and the system.

Anthony Kituuka, the Executive Director at Equity Bank Uganda noted that the system which only allows biometric cards is the only way to monitor money laundering and ensure personal identification of refugees.

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