Source: Neptune Software
U-TRUST, one of the largest Microfinance Institutions in Uganda, has gone live on Equinox.
This enables U-Trust to implement its mandate to provide a variety of financial services, including savings, credit, and money transmission, to high margin clients.
An added benefit that U-Trust achieved as a direct result of Equinox has been to enhance its access to more commercial funding including savings, debt and equity capital.
U-TRUST has a well-established network of 22 branches in 20 districts out of 56 Districts in Uganda. Currently it serves over 24,000 borrowers and 90,000 savings customers.
According to Peter Okaulo, Chief Executive Officer, "March 9th, 2005 was a very exciting day for U-Trust. Ten out of our 22 branches have been successfully converted to the Equinox Banking System. We are delighted! We expect more - and look forward to converting the rest of the branches."
According to Shem Kakembo, U-Trust's Chief Financial Officer, "Equinox has become an integral part of U-Trust's strategy going forward. U-Trust has been very public about our ambitious plans for growth. Equinox has helped us to put these into action. One example that was part of our strategy was to use Equinox in order to boost our capital position. Equinox demonstrated to Shareholders and prospective Investors that U-Trust will be able to ensure advanced reporting necessary to optimise decision making, ensure transparency, deliver the services that customers want and lower capital costs. Equinox advanced technology eliminated any doubts about U-Trusts ability to deliver on our promises and was one of the main factors behind a highly successful round of financing. Obviously our recent success in raising capital demonstrates that Investors believe in what we are doing and place a premium on state of the art IT."
Chibuzo Ene, Neptune's Regional Director for East Africa, said, "When U-Trust approached Neptune they had many issues and problems to overcome. We analysed their concerns and helped them to find appropriate solutions based on their unique needs. Our first objective was to revamp U-Trusts information management system. This was necessary in order to ensure that they comply with current and future regulatory reporting requirements. Secondly, possibly more significantly, we helped U-Trust reposition itself as a top-notch financial institution which was a pre-requisite in order to attract and retain more customers and also convince Investors to back their strategy. I congratulate U-Trust's for vision and the professionalism that they demonstrated throughout the entire process."
According to Mark Sibthorpe, Marketing & Communications, Neptune, "Neptune work hard to understand our client requirements and have put in place solutions to help them reach their goals. For example, one of the main objectives U-Trust had to address was to demonstrate to Investors the fact that they are serious about expanding the breadth and depth of their service offer. U-Trust aimed to provide a more flexible, fast and efficient service, and make access to their products more enticing (fun) to customers through state-of-the-art delivery channels. They also wanted to be able to provide Internet Banking, ATMs, SMS, credit and debit cards and electronic funds transfer. Finally they needed to lower the cost of service delivery in order to expand their reach to an increasingly high margin and diversified client base. Given the success of their recent round of investment, and with the launch March 9th, the first phase in their strategy is now complete."