It sounds like a joke but half of Ugandan adults still hide their money under the mattresses. According to a survey conducted by Bank of Uganda.
The survey explains that it is common because some people feel safe with money where they can see it, as opposed to hidden away in a bank that they do not trust these days.
“Ugandans still have a poor saving culture, 51% of Ugandans who try to save prefer keeping money in a hidden place in the house, this is a bad practice because the money is not safe, it can be misused or stolen. We are calling upon the public to get into the habit of saving with regulated financial institutions,” said James Ivan Ssettimba, the bank of Uganda deputy director financial inclusion division.
Ssettimba also noted that if money is at home in your bags or drawer, it loses value as it sits there. Even the less-than 1% interest it would earn in a standard savings account is better than the 0% you would get by keeping your money at home.
Celebrating world saving day on Wednesday at City square, Ssemattimba also revealed that some Ugandans fear entering banks because of the set up.
“Some people from rural areas fear walking into banks because of the environment. They feel intimidated so they would rather keep their money at home,” noted Ssemattimba.
In his speech, Hussein Omar, the head of products and projects at Diamond Trust Bank(DTB) said that since saving is still a struggle, they are targeting the children below the age of 18 so that they grow up with the saving culture.
“There are things that stick to your mind as a child, we want to target children savings so that they grow up with the saving culture, when they grow up knowing the benefits of saving, it will be easy for them to save for themselves and their children, these are our tomorrow’s customers,” said Omar.
Omar noted that they are encouraging mobile banking because today’s generation is more of digital.
“Young people do not want to be disturbed with paper work and going to banks, we want them to save on their phones freely without disturbance,” noted Omar.
John Ibanda, the manager at Top finance bank said that many Ugandans still think that for one to save, you need to have a lot of money yet that is not the case.
“Saving in Uganda is still a challenge. You do not need to have a lot of money to save. Even with the little you have, you can start and still make it. Some banks do not request for any fee while opening up an account. So we are calling upon people to save,” said Ibanda.