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Monday, August 15, 2011

Interswitch completes acquisition of Bankom Uganda

Lagos–based Interswitch Group has completed acquisition process of the Bankom Uganda, thus transforming it into Interswitch Uganda Limited, following the sale of a 60 per cent stake in the company by Paesacom and Cashnet.

Group chief executive officer, Interswitch, Mr. Mitchell Elegbe, said his team is proud to be in East Africa, noting that its customers often wanted to achieve cost efficiency and maximise revenues and with this step it would be achieved.

This, he said, came after seven years of pioneering transaction switching technology by Bankom Uganda Limited, which has now rebranded into Interswitch (East Africa) Uganda Limited.

“Because of this, we’ve found that we are successful when our customers are successful and that’s why we try to tailor our solutions to fit their needs. We intend to build on Bankom’s legacy, by sharing our successes and creating new solutions together wherever possible”, he assured.

With multi-channel innovative solutions such as Quickteller, Paydirect, Autopay, Retailpay, Verve, and MasterCard Verve, a co-branded payment card for domestic and international markets, he said, Interswitch is positioned to serve customers with Africa wide aspirations.

The average Ugandan, he noted, carries more than three ATM cards, adding that mobile money has revolutionized payments and money transfers; however there are challenges with loading cash on mobile phones.

In her address at the rebrand, the chief executive officer, Interswitch (East Africa) Uganda, Charlotte Kaheru, noted that East Africa has taken significant strides in electronic payments. However, there is yet “a lot to be done.”

As Africa moves into the electronic age, she said, “the time is right to broaden and deepen the services we offer financial institutions, government, utility providers, corporate organizations and individuals.”

She informed that an integrated super switch that provides online, real-time transaction switching and enables interoperability between financial institutions, businesses, government parastatals, utility companies and individuals 24/7 is required.

She further said, the super switch that would enable transaction switching across the 22 banks in Uganda and across payment channels such as ATMS, Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, mobile phones, kiosks, web and physical bank branches is mandatory to ensure Interswitch Uganda achieves cost efficiency and provide better services to Ugandans.

In his remarks, the chairman of Bankom, Mr. William Kalema, said Bankom has been working with the Bank of Uganda and member banks to provide a shared interbank switching infrastructure with a fair amount of success.

“The sale provides inorganic growth opportunities in new markets and opportunities to deepen the offering to stakeholders” he said.

Daily Champion gathered that Interswitch Group with headquarter in Lagos, pioneered real-time online transaction switching and processing serving over 30 million customers across West Africa, through direct and strategic partnerships.

Additionally, Interswitch recently won competitive bids to collaborate with the Central Bank and (Bankers Committee) of Gambia and Sierra Leone to design, implement and manage the national switches.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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