Centenary Bank has launched a paperless bank account opening service intended to serve the unbanked Ugandan population during COVID-19 and beyond.
While launching the service dubbed CenteXpress savings account, at the bank’s Head Office at Mapeera House in Kampala, the Managing Director, Fabian Kasi observed that the development comes at a time when all sectors of the economy including banking and financial services are undergoing a new wave of change, which has warranted further investment in digitally driven solutions to current gaps and challenges as a country.
“According to the 2018 Financial Sector Depending Uganda report on Banking the number of Ugandans without bank accounts or some form of structured and legal financial services currently stands at 89% or 16.5 million of the 18.6 million adult population of Uganda, an indication that there’s need to continuously develop banking services that meet customer’s needs across all age groups,” Kasi said.
He said that using appropriate solutions like CenteXpress savings account is a step in the right direction in propelling personal and business continuity and promoting a culture of saving.
The CenteXpress account will supplement the numerous initiatives put in place by the bank to extend financial services to people at all levels.
The rising demand for the banking industry to adopt solutions that offer suitable banking experiences in the prevailing conditions, anytime and anywhere has inspired the integration of technology to respond with appropriate solutions.
Centenary Bank General Manger Corporate Communications and Marketing, Beatrice Lugalambi said that, “CenteXpress savings account is a bank account opened for you instantly by any one of our existing customers with the intent of extending banking services and promoting a savings culture within a customer’s family, friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances that are unbanked and yet need to use banking services especially saving for a better tomorrow given the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic that caught many unprepared.”
The CenteXpress savings account presents access to numerous benefits and banking services directly on the phone including 24/7 access to one’s account using CenteMobile, free balance inquiry, Withdrawals of up to Shs 2 million per day from all the bank’s digitally-driven channels including CenteMobile, as well cash-in and cash-out at ATMs and at CenteAgent locations.
Lugalambi further stressed that “a potential customer does not need to visit a bank branch to get a CenteXpress savings account opened for them, because any existing customer can open the account for anyone using their phone in short simple steps and in less than 5 minutes,” adding that, “no paper work is required during the account opening process for CenteXpress”
For the Centenary Bank customer to open a CenteXpress savings account for another person, all they need to do is confirm that the person’s phone number is registered by dialing *197# (MTN) OR*216# (Airtel) and following the prompts.
The customer then uses the CenteMobile App to capture all the necessary new customer information on the digital form provided, takes a photo of their National ID, then enters the phone number and address of the new customer.
The customer then deposits the minimum opening balance of Shs 3,000 on the new account while the bank system credits the existing Centenary Customer’s account with Ushs. 2,000 as commission for opening the new account.
The new customer will receive SMS notifications with new pin and account details to confirm completion of the process and activation of the account. Existing Centenary customers that register new CenteXpress savings accounts will get a prize of Shs 50,000 for every 30 accounts they open.
Meanwhile, CenteAgents are being activated for instant CenteXpress savings account opening and this will be possible in the near future.