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Mercy Corps Uganda partners with Ensibuuko

9th December, 2014

Mercy Corps Agri-Fin Mobile program partners with Ensibuuko to deepen financial inclusion in Uganda through a mobile banking platform for Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO’s)

Kampala, Uganda – Mercy Corps Uganda through its Agri-Fin Mobile program announced its partnership with Ensibuuko to improve efficiency in the operation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO’s) and increasing access of financial services and information to small holder farmers. The mobile banking and information system will integrate mobile tools such as mobile money, sms and USSD into customized banking platform and enable SACCO’s to efficiently deliver affordable and tailored financial services to small holder farmers while effectively managing their information.

For the last one year, Ensibuuko has been at Outbox Hub in Kampala, a tech hub that supports startups with mentorship, shared office space and training programs.

“Our partnership with Ensibuuko will provide a solid management system to the SACCO’s as a means to safeguard farmer’s money and providing them with a banking history which allows them to get to the next level of financial inclusion” said Carol Kakooza, Agri-Fin Mobile Program Director. “The solution itself reduces on transaction cost for the farmers by bringing the power of transactions to their palms through mobile.”

With a population of over 35milliion in Uganda ,only 1.5million have access to formal financial accounts with the banking industry while 84% of the population living in the rural areas with 80% dependent on Agriculture and would require finances in the Agricultural production. SACCO’s for most of the part are proving to be strong drivers in delivering financial services to small holder farmers but are limited due its operational structures and mistrust.

Mercy Corps and Ensibuuko have partnered to rollout and pilot Ensibuuko’s Mobile Banking and Information System (MOBIS) to SACCO’s in Northern Uganda and reaching over 10,000 small holder farmers, the solution offers a unique opportunity to increase efficiency operations and information for and to its end clients. With a robust information system, a track record on transaction history for the farmers can be enhanced. Increasing access to information to the farmers through mobile is great tool in creating more trust and confidence with the SACCO’s. Farmers would be able to deposit and receive loans through their phone, drastically reducing the time taken to reach the SACCO’s, sms alerts for each transaction and key financial literacy messages to reinforce knowledge on financial services.

“We believe that SACCOs are an important vehicle for financial inclusion, by developing a customized core-banking solution and making it affordable for SACCOS, we are enhancing their efficiency to serve the rural poor in Uganda. Our solution is unlike other solutions, we have enriched it with mobile tools that enable SACCOS employ a cost-effective means to provide desired financial services to their clients” said Gerald Otim, Ensibuuko’s COO, “and this is why our relationship with Mercy Corps is so timely. No matter how good our solution is, we need a reference point, a way to prove concept. In 2015 alone, over 20,000 rural farmers will benefit from this platform in Northern Uganda alone”

The partnership with Ensibuuko is part of Agri-Fin Mobile, a Mercy Corps-led initiative that is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The Agri-Fin Mobile program seeks to productivity and incomes among small holder farmer through bundling essential agricultural information and financial services through strategic alliances with content
providers, financial institutions, MNO’s and third party platform providers.

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps helps people turn the crises they confront into the opportunities they deserve. Driven by local needs, our programs provide communities in the world’s toughest places with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives. Our worldwide team in over 40 countries is improving the lives of 19 million people. For more information, see mercycorps.org

Contact: Daniel Odinga|Uganda Program Coordinator| Agri-Fin Mobile|Email: dodinga@ug.mercycorps.org

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