BY AMBROSE GAHENE
Stanbic Bank Uganda (SBU) is encouraging parents to take advantage of the Bank’s new “Now-Now” loans to get instant cash at a 15.9 per cent low interest rate. Quick payments can then be made through the digital school fees platform.
Milly Kyolaba, Segment Manager, Business Banking at SBU, said the bank’s education offering is aimed at supporting parents burdened with financial constraints and unable to access their monthly salaries, to return their children back to school in a timely manner.
“Due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, we have revamped all our loans offering to make them inclusive for the different need of parents and schools that are undergoing difficult financial challenges brought by the pandemic to resolve their cash flow needs as well as working capital to facilitate the smooth back-to- school period,” Kyabola said.
Compared to other East Africa countries, Uganda has the worst savings culture at 12 per cent with Kenya’s savings rate at 23 per cent, Rwanda 18 per cent and Tanzania 13 per cent. This means that the majority of Ugandans cannot quickly mobilize funds to resolve pressing financial needs.
At the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Education announced a phased and tight school reopening schedule with a holiday period of less than two week. The Covid-19 impact on the education sector has also forced schools to demand that children report to term with over 80 per cent fee payment and fulfill the necessary school requirements. This poses financial constraints for working parents with limited or no savings to draw on.
Kyabola said, “It is the dream of every parent to have their children report to school on the first day of the term and considering that the back-to-school time is a very hectic, we want to encourage parents to avoid the anxieties and instantly access a low interest rate loan of 15.9% and then use our digital school fees payment channels of School Pay, mobile banking and agent banking to deposit school fees without going to the banking halls.”
“Being key players in the education sector, it’s our duty to see parents take children to school on the first day of the term to compensate for the time lost and also ensure schools effectively collect payments to resume full operations, eliminate forgeries, cut wastages and reduce administrative burdens,” she said.
She said the bank is also offering flexible loan repayment plans, spread throughout the year to avoid overstressing the parent’s cash flow. This is because less than 25 per cent of the usual cash flows are expected to return as the education sector returns to normal.