Smart telecom in advanced stages of joining fast growing mobile money industry. The telecom which operates on 074 will be partnering with Diamond Trust Bank to offer the service. The two companies are owned by the Aga-Khan Foundation. Smart mobile money will be trading as Smart-Pesa.
Smart Telecom faces an uphill task in getting their new product fully operational and accessible to all its customers. Bank of Uganda Mobile money regulations are very strict and require operators to ensure that all their subscribers are registered under Know your customer (KY) regulations. Market intelligence reports indicate less than 30 percent of 250,000 Smart Telecom subscribers are fully registered.
Last year, however, Diamond Trust Bank joined Uganda’s league of champions. The DTB’s assets hit one trillion up from Ugx. 789 billion in 2013. The bank made net profit of Ugx. 23 billion up from Ugx.17 billion in 2013. The bank has positioned itself as a bank of choice for the business community, both local and foreign.
Everything the bank does aims at making the life of businessperson easier and more convenient. SmartPesa promises the same benefit to customers through teaming up with it’s sister company, DTB, and the market has responded positively. While most banks close their branches at 4 pm, DTB branches especially those in Kampala city close at 8:00 pm, waiting for last traders to deposit money. Not surprisingly, the bank’s customer deposits grew from Ugx. 633 bn in 2013 to Ugx. 849 bn. That is the kind of back Smart Telecom is riding in the hope to overtake MTN’s mobile money?