The Genesis of mobile money smart cards in Uganda

There has been a boom of mobile money services in East Africa and Africa at large, but there has always been a missing link. Am talking about the use of smart cards to carry out mobile money transactions just the way we use chip and pin cards or VISA cards when purchasing commodities online or at your favorite shopping mall.  Mobile money platform is now mainly used for sending and receiving money.

A group of eighteen Ugandans led by Albert Aguta Jogoo, 35, the managing director of the ICT labs Ntinda, and Allan Kajura, 27, the Business Development Director have decided to break the ice  about their new start up project. The Imara mobile wallet smart card which is based on android technology integrated on mobile payment services.

 Your transaction is done there and then

Let’s see how it works, first the customer needs is to be registered for mobile money with any network in Uganda. Then the customer must have the Imara card and money on their phone. Such a customer can pay for goods and services using this card at any of the Imara Points of Sales (PoS).

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The card will prompt a pop-up on your phone and ask you to confirm payment. Then you type in your Personal Identification Number (Pin) of mobile money on your phone and money for the good is automatically taken off.

“That’s it; your transaction is done there and then,” says Jogoo. At ICT labs – they the designers of the card – will keep the data base of customers’ names and map them onto their phone numbers such that
if you wipe onto the Imara PoS, it can easily connect to your number.


“We sought to add value onto mobile money. On several occasions, people have gone to pay for goods, but it’s not as convenient and exciting as they would want – someone has to withdraw money first and then proceed to pay for a good”

— Joogo

The Imara card seems to signify the future in mobile money transaction in Uganda and the technology seems to have promising statistics in mobile if the current trend of mobile money use is to go for.