Featured article

Making strides in Uganda
Go back

Making strides in Uganda

Unifi, a pioneer in Africa’s personal lending landscape, recently opened our tenth branch in Uganda and has, over two years in the country, made significant strides in its burgeoning financial sector. Founded in Zambia in 2013 and also operating in South Africa and Kenya, we have distinguished ourselves through our distinctive approach to lending.

In a crowded market of microlenders, Unifi is transforming traditional microfinance models, and setting new benchmarks for innovation and trust in the industry. With a dedication to both technology and a personal, human touch, we have been able to successfully navigate Uganda’s economic landscape.

Adapting to the challenges

Unifi Uganda opened for business in 2021, while Uganda was still under a particularly stringent covid lockdown. Over the past two years, we confronted both legislative hurdles and operational challenges, including infrastructure limitations and a lack of readily available data.

While not the sole force behind recent legislative changes, Unifi has helped champion recent progressive revisions to finance regulations in the country, including updates concerning Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Uganda. These changes are seen as vital steps toward a more inclusive financial ecosystem in the country.

The Ugandan market, while less competitive than its counterparts in Kenya and South Africa, presents its own set of hurdles, such as mitigating reputational risks in a sector beleaguered by public distrust. To address these challenges, Unifi offers Ugandans an easier alternative to the payroll- and collateral-based loans that they are accustomed to. Our core product is unsecured credit for clients with a regular income and a bank account, available in as little as 20 minutes. Repayments are done directly by the clients in cash or via mobile money. These innovative unsecured loans eliminate the need for a guarantor or collateral, thus reducing the risk for borrowers and making life easy.

A solution that thrives in its environment

A Unifi client only has to visit a branch once, to have their identity verified and fingerprints captured for Unifi’s security, and can thereafter fully transact on the Uniapp, a USSD-based app.

Mobile money has been a game-changer in the sector, and a key enabler behind Unifi’s promise of more favourable terms and swifter turnaround times than traditional banks. Utilising sophisticated data architecture which allows for unprecedented agility and real-time monitoring of trends, Unifi is well-poised to adapt and thrive in Uganda’s dynamic, mobile-enabled financial environment where existing data infrastructure is lacking.

The future looks brighter than ever for Unifi in Uganda and beyond. Africa is the place to be and Unifi is ushering in a new era in which clients across Africa can easily and quickly access highly affordable, simple personal credit.

Unifi Uganda’s first branch, on Clement Hill Road in Kampala, opened in May 2021.