By Ambrose Gahene
Centenary Bank, Uganda’s leading commercial microfinance bank on Monday unveiled the new MasterCard Platinum Debit Card targeting all customers who want to enjoy a smart convenience lifestyle, especially those in the high net worth category who shop online and travel frequently.
While addressing the media, Centenary Bank’s Managing Director Mr. Fabian Kasi revealed that the bank’s partnership with MasterCard is aimed at promoting convenience for its high net worth customers by offering them access to a legacy lifestyle, where they will be able to make online purchases, book hotels, buy air tickets, and pay for goods and services when they travel abroad using the MasterCard Platinum debit card.
Kasi remarked: “The partnership comes at a time when there is a fundamental shift in the banking industry and other sectors of the economy in relation to how services are consumed, greatly influenced by the increasing rate of technology innovations and adoption through digitally driven platforms like MasterCard.”
According to the bank, the High Net Worth customers will enjoy several benefits including higher transaction limits, access to airport lounges, discounts at selected local and global stores as well as online purchases and faster Visa application tracking, among others. Customers will also have a dedicated Relationship Manager to support them.
Mr. Victor Ndlovu, Country Business Development Lead, East Africa at Mastercard said: “MasterCard is pleased to partner with one of the largest banks in Uganda, serving a quarter of the banking population, with a unique base of about 200,000 customers who we believe are the right users of our card, given our global footprint and the value addition that comes with using the Platinum Debit MasterCard.”
Ndlovu explained: “MasterCard provides a world beyond cash, by integrating up to date technology with innovations that address the customers’ desired end result,” adding that, “Through several of our partners, we provide great discounts on travel, tour, shipping, luxury shopping and accommodation as well as giving higher card limits and daily, weekly and monthly offers.”
“Safety and Security is a key feature of our card technology enabled with MasterCard Secure Code, a one-time password system ensuring only transactions you approve are made, as well as EMV (Chip Technology), MasterCard Identity Check and Wallet Protection Insurance with worldwide coverage and reimbursement under specific conditions,” Ndlovu said.
According to the 2021 Global Payments Report by McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm, global card payments are expected to rebound and grow to revenue of approximately $2.5 trillion by 2025, from a decline of $1.9 trillion in 2020. Globally, 54 percent of banks cite card payments as very important to FinTech’s partnerships while 73 percent consider digital account opening as very important.
Such trends and the continued growth in uptake of digital financial services in Uganda have inspired Centenary Bank to continue investing in relevant products and services. Over the last five years, the bank has enhanced its digital banking services offerings by rolling out solutions like Agency banking, internet banking and adding new features it’s CenteMobile banking platform including CenteMobile Loans, CenteXpress and more recently CenteOn the Go, a service that enables users to open account for themselves using a smartphone.