Kampala | RedPepper Digital – Business transactions were, on Monday and Tuesday, put at a standstill after a top bank’s digital services went down for a couple of hours.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and digital services such as Mobile Banking have since been off prompting customers to raise concern over the unreliable experience
“The services (ATMs) have been down since yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday). Efforts to access the funds to deliver supplies and pay the works have become a challenge,” said Opio Phillip, a businessman in Kibuubo.
After multiple system malfunctions, the top bank took to the press and social media to acknowledge the concern as queues accumulated in most of the key branches across Kampala CBD.
“Dear Esteemed customer, we are experiencing intermittent services on our digital channels & ATMs. In the meantime, please transact using Flexipay *291# or visit your nearest branch,” read the statement.
It also added: “We are working to restore the services as soon as possible & we sincerely regret the inconvenience caused.”
“Why don’t you be professional??? It’s not intermittent as you claim. The systems are down period the whole day!!!,” said a rather bitter Peter Kasaija on social media.
“Even Flexipay is down….at this level of growth, this shouldn’t be happening! we have ends to meet but trust is dropping. why I can’t access my savings with you?!
A customer who declined to identify themselves revealed that it was satirical for the bank to send their esteemed customers to a nearby branch after 7pm.
“It is very ironic to send me a message at 7pm that I visit the nearest branch! How? Are they open?!,” asked the customer sarcastically.
Reports reaching this site indicate that the top bank’s digital services were partially restored on Tuesday morning but later failed after a surge in transactions and ‘unsuspected’ activity.
A section of customers has since expressed their dissatisfaction tasking the top bank to refund their over-the-counter withdrawal charges.
In reference to the Stanbic Bank tariffs, cash withdrawals over the counter attract a UGX10,000 charge for amounts not exceeding UGX5M and 0.25% OR a maximum of UGX25,000 for withdrawals over UGX5M.
According to Stanbic Bank’s half-year financial results released on Friday, August 6, 2021, customer deposits increased to UGX5.7trn in June 2021 compared to UGX5.2trn in June 2020, indicating a 9.5% growth.
Its assets also grew by 9.8% driven by an increase in loans and advances amounting to UGX 3.8 trillion compared to UGX 3.4 trillion in June 2020. Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited (SUHL) earned UGX154.9 billion in Profit after tax (PAT) representing an impressive 21.5% growth from the same period last year.
Growth in PAT was mainly driven by strong growth in trade revenue which accounted for UGX 37.5 billion as well as better management of loan impairments, which reduced by UGX 11.7 billion as compared to the same period last year.
Stanbic Bank Uganda is a member of the Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets. Standard Bank Group reported total assets of over USD 148 billion as of 31 December 2018, while its market capitalization was at US$20 billion
The group has direct, on-the-ground representation in 20 African countries. Standard Bank Group has 1,221 branches and 8,815 ATMs in Africa, making it one of the largest banking networks on the continent – providing global connections backed by deep insights into the countries where it operates.