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UBA freezes branch expansion to pursue alternate channels

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – United Bank of Africa Bank will not be opening any more bank branches in Kenya apart from the three it currently operates. 

The Bank’s Managing Director and CEO Isaac Mwige, however, says that expansion plans will solely be technology based to match the current trends.

As such, the bank will focus on Agency banking, technology partnerships and other forms of partnerships to spread their business.

“We will expand in Kenya using technology as the traditional branches are becoming obsolete,” Mwige said.

The bank has close to 10,000 customers in Kenya and approximately 12 million customers in its 19 markets on the continent.

This comes at a time when many Kenyan banks have been closing branches to pursue a digital strategy.

Mwige was speaking during the unveiling of the UBA Debit Mastercard and UBA Mastercard Platinum cards that are expected will help displace cash.

“The introduction of the debit card solution will help improve financial inclusion in the country with focus on innovation, financial literacy and customer protection.”

While the Platinum card will offer UBA customers with several benefits includingLegacy Lifestyle Gold Tier Membership, shopping and shipping discounts, Mastercard discounts among others,” the company said during the official launch.

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The launch of the cards is part of UBA’s vision for a cashless society, which Mwige said is achievable in Kenya as witness by the success of mobile banking.

“The UBA Debit Mastercard and Platinum card introduces the latest global payment standards with EMV Chip and PIN technology embedded into the card making it difficult for fraudsters to duplicate your credentials,” Chris Bwakira, Vice President and Area Business Head, East Africa, Mastercard said.

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