The government last week issued a directive to telecommunication companies to separate operations between mobile money and telecom services.
The government went ahead to issue financial service operator licenses to the major Telecom companies, Airtel and MTN.
Airtel mobile money will be trading as Airtel Mobile commerce Uganda while MTN will be trading as MTN Mobile money Uganda.
This split will see the mobile money services fall under regulations by the Bank of Uganda. However the telecom operations will continue to be regulated by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
Airtel Uganda has welcomed this move branding it a blessing in disguise according to the Airtel Uganda Legal and Regulatory Director Dennis Kakonge.
“We welcome it. We see a big more innovation and the customer is going to benefit out of it. It has enabled us to get into direct regulation with the central bank, something we welcome and look forward to providing services to our customers,”Kakonge expressed.
Manoj Murali the Airtel Uganda MD said that this idea meant Airtel was now a payment Bank. He added that this move comes with extra advantages.
“Now that we are a payments bank, we can operate a savings bank where customers can open savings accounts. This licence also allows us invest savings for customers as banks do but specifically in government bonds,”Manoj noted.
He also added that, “This is a big step for Uganda since it will see a lot of financial inclusion coming into the sector with this savings bank.”
With over 11,000 retail outlets throughout the country, this will be possible according to the Airtel Uganda MD . This wide network makes Airtel the biggest with outlets among all Telecom operators in the country.
Manoj also added that the company has in the previous two years set up over 400 base stations. This has been an effort to enhance it’s services. He added that they have a plan of adding 300 more base stations in the next one year. Airtel Uganda also plans on increasing the tower numbers from 2116 to 2539 by the year 2022.