Kadamas in trouble as BoU suspends operations of Pivot Payments company

29 Feb 2024

Bank of Uganda has suspended operations of Pivot Payments, a company that deals in remittances of money from banks to wallet as well as between the Middle East and Uganda.

In a Thursday communication, the central bank said the decision was taking after finding out that Pivot was “conducting business in a manner that is detrimental to the best interest on the public and endangers the stability of the financial system.”

BoU advised wallet holders at the company to verify their balances.

“In exercise of its powers under section 13 of the National Payment Systems Act, 2020, the Bank of Uganda has effective today February 29, 2024, suspended the licences of M/S Pivot Payments Limited as a Payment Service Provider and a Payment Systems Operator,” BoU noted.

A quick search indicates that Shamirah Kimbugwe was the company’s director as of 2022.

In a 2022 interview, Kimbugwe said: “We were born in Covid. So, we were born out of fire….Covid in a sense shaped our resilience as a company. You have to fight to get a customer. Covid gave us a way to address the digital needs of that particular customer. Most businesses are closing, downscaling…but we have had to strengthen, we are going into other markets. We are expanding. So, Covid has harnessed our business…”

According to Kimbugwe, close to 170,000 people were banking with them with more than 16,000 using the mobile application. The platform has so far handled about $14 million in transactions.

Kimbugwe told the media then that, “Migrant workers from other countries are calling for our services. We are soon opening shop in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana. Our ambition is to be in 10 markets across Africa by the end of next year.”

Given that they primarily target migrant workers in the Middle East, Kimbugwe said more than 70 per cent of their customers are women, since many are there as domestic workers.

Below is the notice from Bank of Uganda.

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