May 30, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
In their drive to providing quality and safe banking system for their valued customers across the country, the United Bank for Africa, one of the leading financial institutions in Sierra Leone, yesterday officially launched and rollout their Debit MasterCard for all their customers in the country.
In line with its strategic vision, UBA is introducing innovative payment solutions that meet the needs of people across Africa. The Debit Mastercard card gives the cardholder full control of their funds and provides them with the ability to access funds directly from a savings or current account, thereby reflecting all transactions in real time.
Speaking at the colourful event at Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel in Freetown, UBA Sierra Leone Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ndubuisi Ejiofor, said as a group, they are committed to driving financial inclusion and empowering businesses across Africa, and their partnership with Mastercard enables them to deploy safe electronic solutions to the benefit of the entire country.
He said the introduction of the UBA Debit Mastercard into the market will enable customers to carry out their banking transactions in a safer, more convenient and more reliable manner.
“Our customers’ needs are changing and as they change, we will continue to adopt smart technology solutions that deliver superior services,” he said.
He disclosed that UBA currently has seven branches and forty- six thousand customers in the country, adding that customers can visit any UBA branch across the country to request for the card, and that cardholders don’t have to wait days or weeks to receive the card; they will instantly be signed up and could start using the debit card immediately.
He said UBA and Mastercard’s partnership was helping to empowering people through access to financial tools, with the launch in Sierra Leone following the recent rollout in Ghana and Cameroun.
He said the quick go-to-market strategy was ensuring that more people were connected to the formal financial sector, giving them the power to pay for goods and services in-store or online wherever Mastercard is accepted. The debit card can also be used at any ATM locally and at millions of ATM locations worldwide.
In his presentation, Head of Digital Banking at UBA Sierra Leone, David Musa, said because they are digital bank, they decided to partner with MasterCard -a global technology which operates as the world fastest payment in the world, and, as a result partners with them to create another confident means for their customers to be able to cash and make payment easily.
He said for someone to have access to the card he must be a customer of the bank ,adding that the card can be used on internet or at any of their ATM machines and POS centres across the country.
Shola Okeowo, Mastercard representative, West Africa said, in order to drive financial inclusion, they needed to ensure all Africans to be confident that their money is secure.
She said the UBA Debit Mastercard introduces the latest global payment standards with EMV Chip and PIN technology embedded into the card, making it difficult for fraudsters to duplicate information.
She said the chip embedded into the card contains information that is encrypted, making it almost impossible for the card to be copied or counterfeited.
She said the chip card would also have a magnetic stripe on the back, so that cardholders can continue using their cards while merchants are transitioning to new chip-enabled terminals.
She further that the cardholders will also be able to select their own PIN, giving them full control to approve transactions at the point of sale or when withdrawing cash from ATMs.
Adebanjo also said that both organisations were focused on boosting the financial inclusion across Africa. She highlighted that the partnership supported MasterCard’s global commitment to financially empower more people by 2020.