Trillions of shillings were being transacted daily across the country using the mobile money platform. But even though this was the case, access to finances after midnight remained a challenge. Most mobile money shops closed businesses at 6 pm with a few transacting Business after 9pm yet the demand for the service was throughout the night. Vg Somasekhar the Managing Director Airtel Uganda said there was need to ease access but also improve customer retention. “...Shell petrol stations will also be able to serve customers with their mobile money. Which means a customer can come to a Shell station and send money in cash or pay cash and get the float, all services a customer can do, can be done on Shell. What does this mean to us? I think at Airtel Money we have over 50,000 agents countrywide. I think this relationship with Shell ensures....” Said, Vg Somasekhar – Managing Director, Airtel Uganda.
The number of mobile money accounts had been growing over the years with statistics from Bank of Uganda showing that the number of mobile money agents as of December 2016 was above 132,000 agents. The numbers were expected to rise following the new partnership between Airtel and Vivo Energy that would see Airtel open-up 81 Mobile Money outlets at Vivo Energy that will operate 24/7. According to Gilbert Assi the Managing Director Vivo Energy, the outlets would provide full-time cash especially at night. “As we are in the retail business, we want to maximize what we can get out of our sites. So this partnership is, first of all, to give more services to the customers who choose to come to a shell. We want them to come for fuel, we want them to come for all services, we are pleased to see that people come on to our focal points and get everything they wish to have at a one stock shop.” Said, the Managing Director Vivo Energy.