FRANCISTOWN: The town clerk at the City of Francistown Council (COFC), Lopang Pule has said that they will be using Stanbic Bank Botswana as their payment channel for 2,337 Ipelegeng beneficiaries.
In his address, Pule said Unayo is designed for all as it is very much for the unbanked and resonates well with dealing with marginalised people. He further said he was informed that through the functionality of the platform, beneficiaries do not necessarily have to collect their wages a month once off but can leave the rest and collect it at their own convenience. He stated that this would be a great improvement as in the past they were using cash disbursement leaving beneficiaries including old people queuing to get their wages. Pule added: “In this COVID-19 era, people are not allowed to queue around. Therefore, it was a challenge with our old payment method.
I am happy that this service will provide recipients with the flexibility to collect and/or save their income for future use.” He also believed that the new payment channel will bring back the dignity of their people as they can now cash their money like the rest of the people on ATMs than being seen queuing at the post office. Pule wanted the programme to be seamless from administration to the end-user so that the beneficiaries get paid on the set dates. Furthermore, he pointed out that the financial service provider should ensure that they have gone through the risk factors associated with the programme such that they mitigate against any problems that may arise.
He warned that they do not want to hear a lot of complaints in terms of the transactions. He added: “We don’t want a situation whereby instead of people having the buy-in on the new arrangement, it becomes an outcry, something which happened with one of the competitors and it was a total disaster.” Pule said this was a process of procurement and that they called for an 'expression of interest' and Stanbic Bank Botswana heeded the call and was the first evaluated bidder. For his part Stanbic Bank Botswana's acting chief executive officer, Christopher Gwere said their bank will provide facilities for the payment of these wages at their ATMs and participating Unayo merchants through their networks across Francistown.
He said they look to create a shared value at every turn and strive to ensure inclusive, accessible and meaningful financial service support. When speaking about Unayo, Gwere said the banking service was launched in 2021 and it is designed to connect businesses and people with mutual financial interest and connects communities to help them grow. He indicated that the solution is completely digital and accessed via mobile devices, including those that do not currently have bank accounts.