Customers press for banks to join UmojaSwitch

one of the UmojaSwitch ATM
Customers are demanding commercial banks to join a network of automated teller machines—UmojaSwitch—that has expanded to the remotest areas of the country.

The demand for the network emanates from its recruitment of community banks most of which subscribes to the network. Out of 11 community banks in the country, nine are UmojaSwitch’s members.

According to UmojaSwitch Chief Executive Officer Danford Mbilinyi, a spot study by the network shows that individual customers are now pressurising their banks to join it.

“It is a waste of time at this era moving from one place to another looking for a specific bank’s ATM...sharing infrastructure is what customers need today,” Mr Mbilinyi told Daily News in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

He added: “The most positive thing at the moment is that big banks as well as international banks are inquiring about joining UmojaSwitch.”  Larger and international banks have realized that joining UmojaSwitch is an economic issue.

Other reason customers want the network relates to the costs of sharing ATM using Visa or Master cards, which are between 1,000/-and 2,000/- per transaction compared to just 550/- for Umoja ATMs.

Umoja network started five years ago, having only six members, 30 ATMs in four regions, but has become a force to reckon with today with over 150 ATMs spread across the country.

UmojaSwitch does not have many ATMs compared to large banks, but its 24 members are about half of the 49 registered banks in the country. “This is a clear indication that UmojaSwitch is a network of choice by banks in this country,” Mr Mbilinyi said.

Some of UmojaSwitch are Akiba Commercial Bank, Azania Bankcorp, Bank of Africa (BoA) (T), Dar es Salaam Community Bank, Tanzania Investment Bank and Twiga Bankcorp.
Source: The Daily News,http://dailynews.co.tz,reported by Abduel Elinaza
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