Uganda Securities Exchange, MTN Mobile Money partner to Digitize SCD Account Opening


The Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) in partnership with MTN Mobile Money Uganda has launched a digital service to facilitate convenient Securities Central Depository (SCD) account opening, using the MTN Mobile Money platform. 

In a statement, the partners said deal is envisaged to simplify the process of opening an SCD account, which is a requirement for individual investors to participate in the securities market.

While launching the digitized SCD account opening service Paul Bwiso, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Securities Exchange noted that the new digital SCD account opening platform will bolster participation of the everyday Ugandan in the country’s stock market.

He added that the move will allow more people to open their SCD accounts remotely and subsequently be able to invest in any of the companies and debt instruments listed on the USE.

“Since embarking on its digital transformation journey in 2015, USE had been intentional about placing the investor at the forefront of its digitization strategy,” he said.

Bwiso added that the partnership with MTN Mobile Money (MTN MoMo) has allowed the USE to further simplify access to the stock market for local investors since all MTN MoMo subscribers with a national ID can open accounts from any location.

“Last year we launched a web-based platform called the Easy portal as a self-service channel for opening an SCD account in service of our goal of facilitating convenient access to stock market services. This partnership with MTN Uganda is another stride towards achieving this goal.” Bwiso said.

Under the deal, new investors still retain the option to select their broker of choice.

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Commenting on the same, Stephen Mutana, the Chief Executive Office MTN Mobile Money Limited said that this
innovation is another step for MTN Mobile Money to digitalize services that are crucial to growing the financial sector in Uganda, premised on MTN’s vision of delivering the benefits of a bold new digital world to all its customers.

“As a financial service provider with services that have championed digital finance, this is a great opportunity for us to digitalize this crucial function of stock investment by simplifying it for our customers. Now that it is simpler, we believe that more people will be able to open SCD accounts and participate in the stock market as an alternative avenue of long-term investment,”  Mutana said.

The service is an addition to the existing channels of SCD account opening. On the MTN MoMo platform, active MTN Mobile Money customers with a valid Ugandan National Identification card shall be able to open an SCD account through their preferred licensed broker conveniently on their mobile phone.

Kenya pushing for stocks trading on mobile 

The partnership comes at a time when Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority has proposed to completely transform transactions in shares and bonds into electronic or e-mobile platforms where clients use phones for registration, trading and receiving cash.

As reported by Business Daily last year, the move is intended to help in coping with situations like the current Covid-19 pandemic where many people are confined at home and have difficulty carrying out stock market transactions without meeting brokers or investment advisers.

the move is intended to help in coping with situations like the current Covid-19 pandemic where many people are confined at home and have difficulty carrying out stock market transactions without meeting brokers or investment advisers /PIXABAY

As per the model proposed by the Authority, the idea implies clients do not have to show up at a stockbroker or the Central Bank of Kenya for registration as investors or to transact and get paid.

Currently, to register for transacting in bonds, for example, even the mobile-based bond trading, requires physical presence at the initial point with a considerable amount of paperwork.

“It may be the right time to start thinking about completely transforming capital markets transactions into e-mobile where clients are on-boarded, trade and receive cash through their mobile handsets,” said CMA’s Capital Markets Soundness report.

The Authority also proposed to permit companies to host online annual general meetings (e-AGMs) for capital market players and that this concept be tested in sandbox to inform future approach.

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Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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