18th June 2020, Hotel Africana, Kampala
Theme: Demystifying digital financial services and use of technology in economic and social empowerment of vulnerable communities
Background to the National Microfinance Conference
The Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) hosts a national microfinance conference every two years that brings together various stakeholders in the sector to share experiences, introduce innovations and facilitate networking amongst various stakeholders. In the past, AMFIU has partnered with the Financial Services Department under the Ministry of finance planning and economic development to host these conferences. Each of the conferences have attracted over 200 participants, with stakeholders that include Central Banks from the East African region, financial services providers, academic institutions, wholesale lenders, social investors, donors and development partners among others.
About this year’s Conference theme
Digital financial services hold tremendous promise to deliver financial services to the underbanked and excluded population in Uganda. Mobile money has driven financial inclusion in Uganda with impressive growth and a competitive market. The 2018 FINSCOPE study report indicated a 78% surge in the country’s financial inclusion rate majorly supported by mobile money services. The same report also indicated that 23% of Ugandans save money on mobile money platforms, compared to only 11% who save with commercial banks.
The digital financial services (DFS) market in Uganda is dominated primarily by mobile money service providers (MMSPs) with an ecosystem that is comprised of mobile network operators (MNOs), commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions, regulators, third-party operators and technology providers. Seven MMSPs currently provide a wide range of financial services on their platforms: MTN Uganda, Airtel Uganda, UTL, Africell, M-Cash, EzeeMoney and Micrpopay.
A study conducted by AMFIU in 2019 on consumer attitudes among non-users of digital financial services, found out that a majority of the respondents feel that digital transactions are difficult to understand and hence offline sources are more convenient. A certain group of respondents also felt that such platforms are not safe, and they do not trust the digital service providers with their money. However, 75% of the non-users were willing to try and use digitized methods for conducting their financial transactions, if the obstacles they face are taken care of.
Therefore, critical to the adoption of digital financial services in Uganda are awareness on DFS and financial literacy, empowerment and consumer protection. End-users should be involved from the start of developing digital financial services to witness faster and meaningful financial inclusion. Involving the target audiences at an early stage ensures the introduction of the right digital financial products that meet people’s needs which ensures quicker adoption.
Therefore, the 2020 two days National Microfinance Conference will tackle the practical side of digitalization in the financial inclusion agenda through case studies, trend analysis and discussion of emerging best practice. The agenda will include a full range of workshops, panel discussions and side meetings to explore different aspects of the digitalization in financial inclusion, including:
- Developing staff digital competency
- Digital client experience
- Non-credit digital products like using technology to enhance agricultural productivity
- Digitalization strategies
- Responsible digital financial services looking at consumer protection issues
- Managing digital risk
- Regulatory issues connected with digitalization
- Digital tools for improving financial health
Objectives of the conference
- Increase adoption of digital technologies in the microfinance sector through sharing of practical experiences and case studies
- Discuss and build consensus on how to deal with consumer attitudes towards digital financial services in order to increase uptake and usage among the consumers
- Explore avenues of increasing social and economic empowerment of vulnerable communities using technology
For details call AMFIU: 0414 259176, 0772426359