Monday, December 31, 2012

First 26 Agents Approved by the Central Bank...

mHose is UOB's mobile banking platform. It provides not only mobile banking transactions, such as cash deposit, cash withdrawal, send and receive, purchase airtime, making remote bill payment etc., but also interest on deposits and free life insurance coverage up to three beneficiaries.

These mobile banking features are pretty attractive to many clients.

These mobile banking features, however, are not so useful without cash access points for the clients. Our branches can serve our clients, but our branch network is not enough to serve all our clients. So we recruit agents that can provide such services for our clients at a fee. The more agents, the more access points our clients will have.

But we cannot increase the number of agents without restriction because if there are too many agents then the business volume each agent will have will be reduced, thus making it an unattractive business for the agents. Thus, the number of agents will have to be balanced against the business volume each agent will be provided for.

So, there is a trade-off between the number of agents and the business volume.

UOB has received approval from the central bank on 26 agents. This is the first batch of agents UOB will work with to carry out its pilot launch of mHose. The agents include mostly retail outlets and petroleum stations. This number will grow continually in 2013 and the type of agents will also be diversified.

Another competitive advantage of mHose is that it is interoperable with other bank mobile agents through mVISA, VISA's mobile banking platform. Currently Bank of Kigali and UOB are the only two banks that participate in mVISA's interoperable solution. This will help us help each other by not duplicating the agent network where the other bank already has agents.

Interoperable mobile and agent banking solution is the first of its kind in the world.

Moreover, mHose offers interest on deposits and free life insurance to clients. It is my prayer that mHose clients will benefit from these additional features to earn interest on their hard-earned money and also to be able to manage their life risk better.

It surely it a good case for financial inclusion. Lord, we seek your favor in this project. - Jeffrey

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