SafeBoda to extend credit to Merchants, support Women
In a bid to support business growth and increase Women inclusion in Business, SafeBoda has unveiled plans to support its merchant partners with working capital loans as a token to expand their businesses. With Women as a priororty, SafeBoda seeks to attract more females into working as merchants to provide In-App services to SafeBoda customers.
According to the company’s Vice President of Payments and Financial Services, Tim Jamieson, a pilot for working capital loans will soon be launched as the firm awaits its National Payments Systems (NPS) license from the Bank of Uganda. This is part of the SafeBoda continued evolution that has seen it expand its service offerings from a mere Boda hailing App to a food and deliveries platform, into airtime and payments among other services it plans to avail to its customers.
Jamieson inks that priority for working capital loans will be given to female-run enterprises as a way of boosting women inclusion in businesses since they rank as the majority financially class of people in the market. Among other innovative products in the pipeline where the company hopes to put Women on the frontline include the SafeBoda payments ecosystem, open-loop products, savings products, and alot more.
In doing this, the firm aims to provide a cheap ecosystem that allows its customers to send money across networks for free and drastically reduce the cost of withdrawing these funds, according to Jamieson.
“If you want to send UGX 5,000 across networks can cost you over UGX 1,000 to do so or UGX 2,000 if you are sending to two to three different networks; we think there is more that needs to be done here. Mobile money ecosystems form such a large part of the back bone of Uganda and Africa as whole, so there should be continuous improvements in how this is delivered,”Jamieson explains
He alludes that while cash is still a predominant method of payment in Uganda and across the African continent, the COVID-19 pandemic has steadily attracted people towards cashless transactions presenting a golden opportunity for Financial Technology Companies (FinTechs) to grow with new solutions.
However, Jamieson says that there is a need to work together as an industry to share knowledge, technology, and regulatory stack while working with regulators to solve existing problems.
“We have a huge unbanked and underserved population; we have a high cost of time and money to access financial services and at the same time we have this amazing fast growing ecosystem of FinTechs that is coming through locally. We need to bring them together so that we solve these problems as together,”
Furthermore, he commends the Bank of Uganda for the NPS, which he says has provided a stringent regulatory framework that will give customers confidence that they can transact with electronic money service providers, including FinTechs, in a safe and secure way.