The fund has 2.2 million contributors in the formal sector that consists of 4 million workers
In a bid to extend pensions coverage to the 1.8million uncovered Ugandans in the formal sector, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is set to employ technology by making it possible for employers to register by mobile phone.
The fund has 2.2 million contributors in the formal sector that consists of 4 million workers; the NSSF act currently does not give leeway for the fund to target 11 million workers in the informal sector.
The new mobile platform will also enable contributors to the fund to view their balances via their mobile handsets and also to get investment advice in the palm of their hands. Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF managing director said the mobile platform will be here as soon as next year.
“Our customers are telling us that they no longer want to come to our branches; they would prefer that they are able to access our services within their environment. They are seeing this abroad and we have to ensure that not only are our employees able to work from outside our offices but also that our customers can enjoy our services from outside our branches,” he said.
The NSSF has downsized its number of branches to 16, with 4 sub branches as it moves toward its objective of driving the fund’s value toward the sh20 trillion in assets by 2025. Byarugaba noted that as part of the plan to drive digitization in the NSSF, the fund is going paperless by 2020 with employees currently restricted to 10 sheets of paper per month.
He noted that the digital strategy has started to pay off with 10,000 new members added to the funds ranks in 2017 making voluntary contributors via mobile money. Byarugaba made the comments at the 2nd Annual Cyber Security and Risk Management Conference by Summit Consulting at the Imperial Royale Hotel.
Byarugaba pointed that technology is causing disruptions in business models, urging Ugandan firms not to be docile since their largest competition is now outside their industry.
“As a country, our companies are still very docile. That is why many foreign companies like Uber and Jumia come here, set up and take up significant market share,” he said.
Mugisa Mustapha, the Chief Executive Officer of Summit Consulting said that technology is very critical at the individual, corporate and national levels. “The technology we are talking about is machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and block chain. It is going to determine the way we transact,” he said.
“Paper money may no longer be relevant in the next 10 to 20 years. That has implications for our regulators and legislators. It means that they must invest in specialized people that are studying these technologies,” he added.
Mustapha applauded President Yoweri Museveni on installing surveillance cameras to prevent crime, however, he noted that the success of the project will require good lighting, significant amount of data storage for the heavy video feeds and analytics to predict the behavior of people.
“If you do not invest in this supporting technology, that investment will be wasted. Machine learning is required to be able to predict whether an individual in a particular area is likely to commit a crime and how they should be captured,” Mustapha said.