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Uganda’s Warid hopeful on mobile money

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With Uganda’s mobile money taking off in recent months, Warid Telecom is confident that they are able to make a push into the market currently dominated by MTN.

Warid Telecom is confident that they are able to make a push into the market currently dominated by MTN (image: Vijana)

According to local figures, MTN Uganda currently controls at least 75 percent of all mobile money endeavours, making newer entries into the sector difficult, but this has not stopped Warid from pushing forward.

“We believe our offerings are on par or better than the competitors out there and we know that through some effort, we can be successful in entering the electronic money to pay for goods and services,” Shailendra Naidu, Warid Uganda’s Chief Commericial Officer, said.

“We enable users an easy, hassle free way to pay for items via their mobile phone and it is already gaining traction,” she added.

Already, the company has begun aggressively marketing their new service through strategic points across the country, including small kiosks as well as larger telecom centres, with the hope of creating awareness among all their clientele.

For users, it seems to be working, although slowly. In less well-off areas of the country, Ugandans are able to use these new services to purchase goods that would otherwise have taken days to do through the more traditional banking strategies. Even paying for school is an option now.

“I think they are all doing a decent job, but it will take time for people here in these parts to really get on to the idea,” said one villager outside Kampala.

Warid’s strategy is more grassroots and Naidu’s hope is that through the use of the technology it can begin to build bridges from rural areas to the city.

Andrew Matapare

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