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Housing Finance Bank Joins PostBank ,Pride Microfinance in Enabling Seamless Disbursement of PDM Funds with Wendi Digital Wallet

Kakumiro, Uganda, August 10th, 2023 – Housing Finance Bank joined PostBank and Pride Microfinance Limited to unveil a partnership with Airtel Money Uganda that will facilitate seamless disbursement of Parish Development Model (PDM) funds by the Government of Uganda through the Wendi mobile wallet platform. This partnership guarantees convenient access to funds for intended beneficiaries across Uganda through Airtel Mooney’s extensive agency network at minimal to no cost.

Michael Karokora Mugabi, the managing director and chief executive officer of Housing Finance Bank (HFB)

With 53% of the population embracing mobile money services while only 10% have access to traditional banking, this collaboration resolves the need for heightened financial inclusion. It holds the potential to bridge critical gaps and amplify the Government of Uganda’s efforts in achieving its development objectives.

The partnership launch was presided over by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Nabbanja Robinah, represented by Hon. Kabuye Kyofatogabye, Minister of State for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs in the presence of the Kakumiro district leadership and PDM Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs) leaders at Kakumiro District headquarters.

Wendi, powered by PostBank, is an electronic payments platform meticulously tailored to bridge the gap between unbanked Ugandan communities and essential financial services. It offers a comprehensive suite of features, including group savings and funds management, digital money transactions, transfers, deposits, and withdrawals. The platform’s development comes after several complaints by beneficiaries on bank charges and other risks involved during the disbursement process. Through Wendi, PDM beneficiaries can now access their funds through the Airtel money network without going through the bank processes as a result.

Mr. Julius Kakeeto, Chief Executive Officer of PostBank, expressed gratitude to Airtel Money Uganda for embarking on this transformative journey. He emphasized Wendi’s convenience to the PDM disbursement process, stating, “With Wendi, subscribers will receive funds directly to their phones, eliminating the need for a bank account and the associated time and cost of manual disbursements.”

Mr. Micheal Mugabi, Managing Director of Housing Finance Bank, echoed the sentiment of collaboration and emphasized the Bank’s commitment to uplifting all Ugandans. He said, “Our mandate is to drive home ownership and financial independence. And that’s why the Bank has devoted significant resources to promote the Wendi mobile wallet solution that enables financial services to reach the majority of Ugandans who currently do not have a bank account.”

Mr. Japhet Aritho, Managing Director of Airtel Money Uganda, affirmed the company’s dedication to Uganda’s financial inclusion agenda, stating, “We aim to address the digital inclusion divide by extending services closer to the people. Airtel Uganda’s vast network of over 200,000 agent points eliminates the need for beneficiaries to travel long distances for accessing or repaying PDM funds.”

Mr. Edward Nkangi, Executive Director of Pride Microfinance Limited, emphasized the transformative impact of the Wendi App. He highlighted, “With Wendi, we do not need to open a branch in Kakumiro as the PDM funds can now seamlessly reach each Ugandan without visiting a bank. We thank the Government for the Parish Development Model in enabling funds to reach every Ugandan.”

In closing, Hon. Kabuye Kyofatogabye, the Minister of State for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, commended PostBank and Airtel Money Uganda on their good timing with the launch of Wendi. He said, “Wendi is a much-needed intervention in support of the government’s Parish Development Program as it allows for easy and convenient access to funds via mobile technology.”

The Minister of State for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs also encouraged beneficiaries of PDM and the public to take advantage of the opportunities that come with Wendi by downloading and using the App from Google Play Store and App Store and onboarding via a *229# USSD code.

Wendi offers a wide range of mobile transactions, including paying for utility bills such as Umeme, URA, NWSC, TV subscriptions, school fees, goods, and other services. Customers will also enjoy easy access courtesy of over 3000 Wendi agents stationed countrywide.

Housing Finance Bank focuses on making banking easy and enabling customers to be in control of their financial and banking needs. First incorporated as a private limited company in 1967 as Housing Finance Company Uganda Limited, carrying out business as a non-banking credit institution, providing mortgage finance and accepting savings deposits from the public. Subsequently, the Bank became licensed and regulated by the Bank of Uganda as a Commercial Bank in 2007 to carry on the business of banking under the Financial Institutions Act and changed into a public limited liability company known as Housing Finance Bank Limited.

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