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POSTBANK CUSTOMERS CAN NOW WITHDRAW CASH @ ATM MACHINE WITHOUT CARRYING AN ATM CARD

Minister Henry Musasizi (L) and PBU MD Julius Kakeeto (joined by NBS’ Eric who was one of the lucky winners in the ruffle draw that was held for the very first users of the newly upgraded smart ATMs).

By Mulengera Reporters  

Owned by the Government of Uganda up to 100%, PostBank Uganda (PBU) has taken digitization in banking to a whole new level and thereby illustrating the fact the Shs12bn (or $4m) that has been invested in technology in the last two years was, after all, money well spent. This Thursday evening, key stakeholders converged for a media event in Lugogo where ‘the smart ATM,’ which is the latest innovative PBU product, was unveiled.

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The State Minister for Finance Henry Musasizi was at hand to preside the launching and unveiling of the new innovation. To be available to all customers across the country, ‘the smart ATM’ is one of the life-changing outcomes resulting from the deliberate decision which the new PostBank management took in 2020 to deepen digitization as a way of increasing the financial institution’s competitiveness on the market.

Julius Kakeeto the MD PostBank.

Julius Kakeeto, who became the new MD (in late 2019) after the old team was acrimoniously forced out, says they found a Bank which had a lot of potential amidst many challenges including limited digitization. That because of that limited digitization, 90% of withdraws or deposit-related transactions were being done inside the banking halls, something that resulted into long queues among other aspects of inefficiency.

Kakeeto told guests at the Lugogo launching ceremony that customers seeking to deposit or withdraw their money would take half of their day queuing up trying to access service at the bank counters. That that’s how PBU ended up having the longest queues in the market and that gave it a bad reputation besides alienating some would-be customers. That even when ATM services were available, customers would apply and wait for 6 months before getting their ATMs. He explained to Musasizi, himself as PBU customer since his student days at Makerere, that this is why the new management prioritized digitization of the bank upon assuming office.

James Kasozi the developer of the newly upgraded PostBank smart ATMs.

He called this a “momentous day” because the new ATM technology, that was being launched, isn’t only unprecedented on the market but it will also make banking convenient and also cheaper for all PBU customers regardless of where one lives or operates from. Gratefully, being a GoU-owned bank which isn’t only motivated by desire to make money for shareholders, PBU has the widest presence in the whole country compared to other commercial banks, which only operate and maintain branches in areas where the same is profitable. The newly unveiled ‘smart ATM’ technology will instantly be available to customers in all parts of the country and a number of features make it unprecedented including the fact that one will be able to withdraw or deposit money without having to physically move with their ATM card.

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All one will require is walk to the ATM machine with their mobile phone. All one will have to do to benefit from or effect these card-less ATM transactions is to walk to the PBU ATM with their mobile phone. Once there, you initiate the transaction from your phone and then use the resultant token ID to withdraw up to Shs3m in one transaction from the ATM point. Following the prompts, you select your PBU bank account before proceeding to input the amount of money you desire to withdraw. You will then be required to enter the PIN number into the phone whereafter you receive a voucher or an SMS reflecting a One Time Password (OTP). This OTP is all a customer will be required to use (inputting it into the ATM machine) and then be authorized to withdraw.

Janey Nakato the Chief Operations Officer for PostBank.

Those seeking to deposit will initially be able to deposit up to Shs30m in one go and Kakeeto says the same will be enlarged as time goes by. Minister Henry Musasizi, whose Finance Ministry supervises PBU management through the Board, said he looks forward to making use of the new ‘smart ATM’ technology to effect transfers of money for people in his Rubanda East Constituency. He liked the fact that this will be prompt and way much cheaper than mobile money transfers which most MPs use to frequently transfer millions of shillings to people in their Constituencies especially on weekends. Musasizi said this innovation will kill many birds with one stone including making banking more attractive to modestly educated people especially in communities upcountry.

He added that, being low on cost and conveniently accessible, will naturally attract many community members including those with bad attitude because they perceive banking as burdening oneself for nothing. Musasizi said that the fact that PBU is the most accessible throughout the country (because of its 52 brick and mortar branches, the 400 agent banking locations and the 60 ATM points that have specifically been set up to amplify uptake for this new technology) simply means the ‘smart ATM’ innovation is going to attract more Ugandans into opening up bank accounts and thereby deepening financial inclusion which is a key aspiration of the GoU.

Hon. Adriko Yovan the MP Vurra County Arua District also attended the media event at the Forest Mall Lugogo branch.

In a subsequent statement, PBU‘s Marketing Manager Priscilla Akora explained that whoever wishes to benefit from the new ‘smart ATM’ technology will have their account promptly opened up (in case they are new customers) and their smart ATM issued on that same day. Those old customers desiring to take up the same will have their smart ATM cards issued within just hours after applying for the same. Bragging that PBU now has the highest number of ATM access locations in Uganda, Akora also explained that the unveiling of the smart ATM only consolidates their digitization journey which began two years ago and previously manifested through the unveiling of innovations like PostApp, PostMobile and PostAgents.

MD Kakeeto says this isn’t the end but just the beginning because PostBank Uganda intends to unveil many other innovations as their digitization journey continues with the overall aim of lowering the cost incurred by Ugandans to access and enjoy efficient banking services.

Flavia Tumusiime Kabuura was the day’s MC.

PostBank, which Musasizi said is a key partner in the GoU long term strategy to deepen financial inclusion, was last December elevated by Bank of Uganda into becoming a fully-fledged commercial bank categorized under Tier One. It was this elevation that prompted the Kakeeto-led new management to realize the need to generously invest in digitization to be able to effectively compete with the big boys who had entered that category much earlier on.

PBU was first formed in 1983 and was later incorporated as a public company limited by shares under the Company Act in 1998. It has since grown to have 52 branches covering the whole Uganda stretching from Yumbe to Kabale and from Kotido to Masaka and beyond. Besides the 52 brick & mortar branches, PostBank Uganda also has an additional presence through the 400 banking agents (aka PostAgents).

Andrew Kabeera the ED PostBank.

The 52 branches are spread out to cover the following owns and business centers throughout Uganda: Amolatar, Anaka, Arua, Bombo, Bugolobi, Bukedea, Bweyale, City Branch, Entebbe, Fort Portal, Forest Mall, Gulu Hoima, Iganga, Jinja, Kabale, Bishop Stuart, Kakiri, Kampala Rd, Kamwenge, Kanungu, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Kayunga, Kitgum, Kotido, Kyazanga, Lacor, Lira, Makerere, Masaka, Masindi, Mbale, Mbarara, Moroto, Mubende, Mukono, Nakasongola, Ndeeba, Ntungamo, Pakwach, Soroti, Usafi, Wandegeya, William Street, Yumbe, Kagadi,
Butogota, Kamdin, Rushere, Ishaka, Kihihi and Manafwa. (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 0200900416 or email us at mulengeranews@gmail.com).

 

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