Equity Bank Partners With UN Agency To Increase Refugees' Access To Finance

So far, only a few commercial banks and the latest being Equity Bank Uganda are looking to the technology of biometrics as the easiest but efficient channel agency banking and financial inclusion. This time targeting refugees now standing at over 1.2 million. “We are the only bank from the other banks that are in agreement so that these are long-term settlements. Why people don’t see the opportunities in serving the refugees, I don’t know. Well, because refugees are very entrepreneurial. ….there are cities that are coming up. So we have those two models and as we continue to serve in the West of Uganda, in the North and North-West we will see which model fits.” Said, Allan Waititu – Group Director, Special Projects – Equity Group.

And with the majority of local banks taking a waiting see approach in fear of the risks that come with biometrics, officials are optimistic about safeguards with the emerging threats. “Now the password is the second element of the defense of course for some people who come from hardship areas where fingerprints have been erased for whatever reason as mentioned in the presentation, some people have lost limbs. If you are in a war and somebody cuts off your hand and you have no biometrics to use if your hands are cut off. So in those cases, we have to revert to our next line which is a password.” Said, Anthony Kituka – Executive Director, Equity Bank Uganda.

Biometrics in banking is rapidly gaining momentum and this equally becoming an area of great interest for cybercriminals meaning the security of applications and systems that support these mechanisms is more critical than ever.