From events managers to artist promoters, managers, musicians, actors, masters of ceremonies and comedians, everyone in the entertainment industry would like to keep a firm grip on their finances without the hustle and bustle if traditional banking.
This explains why entertainers are already reaping the benefits of a new MTN Mobile Money innovation that lets customers deposit and withdraw money from bank accounts; an innovation that comes with effective, convenient, efficient and time saving financial control.
In March this year, MTN Uganda launched a service dubbed “Bank Push and Pull” that enable customers combine their Mobile Money transactions with their bank accounts.
MTN Mobile Money subscribers, after registering with partner banks – currently Stanbic, DFCU, Pride Microfinance and Centenary – are able to “pull” money from their bank accounts to mobile money accounts; and then “push” it to any other accounts of their choice.
This therefore means that a musician doesn’t have to cancel a studio session, just so that they can go make a bank deposit of withdraw. All that can be done on their phone.
“A client can now pay me through mobile money and I will not have to run to the bank to make a deposit. I just make deposits to my bank account using my mobile money account. I can also make payments from my bank account using my phone, without going to the bank. That is super convenient and time saving”- says M.C Meddie, an actor and master of ceremonies
MTN Uganda CEO Brian Gouldie had also noted at the point of the launch of “Push and Pull” that Mobile Money’s next step is driving financial inclusion.
“One of the biggest benefits of Mobile Money to Uganda continues to be the increase of access to financial services to customers across the country,” he said.
“This new solution further enhances that benefit by reducing the cost of banking while delivering convenience that we believe ultimately leads to increased productivity.”
The cost element is significant. Most of the unbanked people in Uganda still point to the cost of banking as the major barrier, as Economist and PHD student Rukundo Nshakira notes.
“Banking services are expensive and costly to many people. Monthly charges and in some cases transaction charges make it prohibitive. These make people prefer to have their money with themselves rather than in banks, and this is the benefit that mobile money offers,” he said.
“Sending remittances is becoming easier as international remittance services such as Western Union and Money gram can now deliver money on someone’s Mobile Money account. This makes the flow of capital very easy and of course has positive benefits on improving livelihoods in many ways,” Nshakira added.
Artists and Entertainers now have an easy way of keeping their financial books in their hands; a thing that gives them super financial control, yet without having to put on hold a rehearsal or video shoot just to go to the bank.
“I can now pay a video producer, choreographer and dancers from my bank account, right here on my phone. That therefore means that I can still transact even in the heart of a video shoot rehearsal. I find that very convenient”- says Reggae artists Juju of Kwagala fame.
With an excess of 30 million transactions each month, MTN Mobile Money has enjoyed unmatched success since it was launched in 2009 and as per the GSMA 2012 Global Mobile Money adoption survey, MTN Uganda ranks 2nd in terms of number of active Mobile Money customer accounts in the world.
The deposit and withdrawal feature can be accessed through the MTN Mobile Money menu under the “Financial Services” option, but is only available for users who have registered with the banks.
While only four banks are currently supported, MTN says it is working on expanding the service to cover all banks operating in the country.