From the look of the things, Ugandans are fast at finding solutions to the insensitive censorship on the usage of social media ahead of the 2016 General election, a stint the Uganda Communications Commission termed as a measure for security reasons. Prior to that too, ATM transactions of some banks have been reportedly blocked and for close to 48 hours now, Ugandans have been frustrated with the accessing of Mobile Money services too.
Answering to the social media outrage on the morning of 18th February, Ugandans sought for refuge in using VPNs so as to by-pass the blocking of the social media platforms by the UCC, a battle they seem to be leading.
Latest in the loop is the headache of mobile money that was blocked too by the different two giant telecoms MTN and Airtel thanks to order from the government. About a few months ago, MicroPay a mobile money payment platform was introduced in Uganda with a target role of providing better services for Ugandans. The mobile money platform is an app compatible on Android handsets and can be gotten on the Google Play store for free.
The Micro pay app is meant for Mobile Money users who want to unshackle themselves off the usual USSD codes and have some data to spare. With this application, customers can securely, simply and conveniently have access to their account, transfer funds, check balance and view statements. Customers can also process payment requests and pay their bills.
Could This Be the Solution Ugandans are in dire need of?
Yes, you may say this is the application Ugandans need at this time but surely not all can fully embrace its full usage. It’s even better than the Mobile Money Apps of most telecos. The fact that it’s an application that is only supported on smartphone handsets alone is depriving to the common wannainchi who doesn’t own one. On a scale of 1-10, giving it a 4 rating would not be a mean thing to do. Comparing the Application to the Telecoms based mobile money platforms, I would say they have a long way to go.
The application is only compatible to Android and iOS enabled devices and practically smartphones compared to Telecoms mobile money services that are compatible on any mobile handset regardless.
What’s letting down Micro-Pay
For a service that has been here for a while and unknown to many, you would wonder why smartphone users and freaks have not embraced as yet. In order to use the app you need to go on a hunt around town and look for a Micro-pay agent in order to activate an account for you. It’s not a “plug and play” kind of service yet its seems to have all the mobile money services one would need. Another issue is that as opposed to the usual mobile money platforms of telecoms, one has got to have a fine internet data connection to use the application unlike Airtel Money and MTN Mobile money that use USSD codes regardless of whether one got internet or not and can ably be used on even GSM-compatible phones.
The Last nail on the coffin!
The application is yet to have a place in the heart of Ugandans to be trusted given the fact that many have been hypnotized by the telecoms mobile money services that have rendered themselves effective, fast and efficient over the years.
The mere fact that one has to often maintain and monitor the application on their smartphones alone is hectic enough for one to grow a biased mindset over the platform.