PostBank Uganda has introduced affordable, safe savings and transactional accounts that will ease banking services to refugees in the country.
While unveiling the service at the Bank’s Headquarters in Kampala on Thursday, Mr Edwin Keronga, the Acting Managing Director said the refugee tailored accounts utility is important to PostBank since it is in line with its vision and strategic pillars.
“Our vision is to be the market leader in the advancing financial inclusion for social economic development and one of our strategic pillars is client centered innovation,” said Mr Keronga.
“Refugee Save as you Earn Account is a unique product for refugees who want to save and earn an attractive interest for future prospects and Refugee Transactional Account is a flexible account suitable for refugee individualized banking.”
He further revealed that they opted to come up with the product because a good number of refugees are involved in income generating economic activities and want a secure place where they can save their money.
“Refugees are hosted in designated areas where they are allocated pieces of land to put up shelter, grow food and start their own businesses. This implies that the refugees are engaged in income generating economic activities like farming and by the end of the day some may want to save their money in a secure place. They also receive monthly stipends from World Food Programme which they access through PostBank Uganda. It is presumed that in five years refugees shall be self reliant without relying on humanitarian aid. It is against this background that PostBank has introduced a secure and affordable banking solution for refugees.”
Currently, Uganda is a home to more than 1 million registered refugees and asylum seekers, according to the United Nations report of 2016.
At the same event, Mr Benon Rukundo, the bank’s Acting Executive Director said PostBank is a socially oriented bank committed to changing and empowering lives , for a better Uganda by providing all people with easy, accessible, affordable and flexible financial products and services.
“PostBank is an advocate for voluntary savings for all the refugees in the country and it’s at the forefront of championing financial inclusion.”
Mr Isaac Boss, the head of Business Growth at the bank said the product will have no monthly charges and refugees will need an attestation form, refugee ID and a referral by known bank customer or camp commandant to open up an account.
Ms Jackie Tahakanizibwa Kwesiga, the bank’s Senior Manager Marketing and Communications disclosed that they conducted a product pilot study for three months in Masindi and Kiryandongo and in the due course, over 200 refugees opened up accounts.
“So far the product has been well received by refugees and they are excited about it,” she said.