How Your Business Benefits from Working with a Payments Aggregator

By Gerald Begumisa, Managing Director – Yo Uganda Limited

Businesses operating today must keep up with customer expectations regarding mobile and other digital payments options. Mobile technological advancements have presented multiple payments methods which a business looking to attract more clients will have to integrate into its own systems. A payments aggregator enhances the customer experience by allowing payments from various mobile money service and banking platforms and reducing complexities in payments processing. 

In order to understand why a payments aggregator is necessary for your business, it is important to appreciate the evolution of digital and mobile phone technology both globally and in East Africa in recent years.

History of mobile phone usage in Uganda

Mobile phones were first introduced in Uganda in 1994 through the establishment of Celtel which is now Airtel Uganda. The first mobile money services were introduced in 2009 by MTN Uganda. 

Mobile Money in Uganda and East Africa

A mobile money platform allows a user to send and receive money to and from other mobile money users. Using this functionality, the mobile money user is able to pay for goods at different stores both locally and internationally as long as they accept mobile money. Payments can also include bills, fees, taxes, and other regular payments. 

Mobile Money Usage

According to a GSMA report, there were 390 million registered mobile money accounts in East Africa in 2022, with over 100 million considered ‘active’. Uganda had 28 million registered mobile money accounts. (GSMA is an organisation that represents the interests of mobile network operators)

With the adoption of mobile money technology, customer expectations have risen regarding payments options. Customers expect digital options for sending and receiving money as well as other financial services. Businesses that offer the most convenient seamless and secure digital payments experience will have the competitive advantage.

As more mobile money operators have entered the market, merchants and store owners must equip their businesses with payment systems that offer convenience for transactions to and from different mobile money platforms.  Thus, the need for a payments aggregator. 

Payments Aggregators Enter the Fintech Landscape in Uganda

A February 2022 Fintech ‘Study on the State of Uganda’s Fintech Industry’ highlights major events that occurred in 2011.

  1. Bank of Uganda issued an enhanced ‘no objection’ letter to other mobile money service providers (MTN Uganda received its ‘no objection’ letter in 2009).
  2. Uganda’s first aggregator, Yo-Uganda Limited, entered the market with a multi-purpose mobile payment aggregation service.

Another significant event the report highlights is the gazetting of the National Payments Act 2020, the law that now regulates payments systems in Uganda. 

In 2021, following the National Payments Act 2020, Bank of Uganda issued the first ever Fintech Licenses. Yo-Uganda Limited was one of the first Fintechs to be granted a license, in November 2021. 

The study, commissioned by Financial Technology Service Providers’ Association (FITSPA) and carried out by Deloitte, also noted a significant shift in uptake of digital payments services, as a result of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

 ‘…[it] came as an opportunity for Uganda as a lot of innovations came through. Notable among them was the increase in digital payments which were taken up by the people …

Against the backdrop of these developments and trends, businesses looking to optimise their use of digital transactions must understand the functions of payments aggregators and what advantages can be gained in using their services.

Understanding Payments Aggregators

In mobile payments technology, an aggregator is a service provider that facilitates payments from various mobile money platforms and consolidates them into a single platform. This allows merchants (stores, shops, any business that is receiving payments) to accept payment into one system or account. 

As well as integration of payments from various mobile money payments platforms, there are several other benefits for a business in using a payments aggregator.

The potential to reach more customers

Online and other Remote Payments

Having a payments aggregator for a business means that they are able to offer their clients the option to make purchases without visiting a physical location. This is especially useful when the buyer is located in a remote area or when the business is catering to an international clientele. 

This capability also enables businesses to tap into markets in rural areas. This is particularly in places where banking services such as money transfers may not be available and yet mobile money platforms which are simpler to set up may already be operating. 

Multiple Payment Options 

Businesses that offer options to receive money from various mobile money platforms will provide a convenient way for any customer to transact from their preferred mobile money provider. This convenience will make the merchant more attractive to customers.

Automated Payments Processing

 Digital payments are quick and easy. They reduce payments processing times giving a better customer experience and therefore encouraging repeat business. They also reduce the risks related to human error during transactions.

Reduced Risk of Fraud

 Payments aggregators provide enhanced security features in order to safeguard businesses and individuals from fraud. Fraud may include identity theft, unauthorized access and transactions, and others. 

In order to secure customer platforms, aggregators will use security features that may include the following: 

Transaction restrictions 

In this feature, a maximum number of transactions may be set per time-period, a maximum amount per withdrawal and per time-period as well as an allowed time-window for transactions. The time-period in question may be hourly, daily or monthly and is applicable on a per-currency (network) basis. Such restrictions may be applied to individual accounts or groups of accounts where a client holds more than one account with an aggregator.

IP White and Blacklisting

This feature restricts access to the aggregator’s API and the customer portal to a set of IPs submitted by the client.

Multi Factor Authentication

Ordinarily, a user is asked for a username and password in order to log into their account. With Multi Factor Authentication, another layer of protection is added to this. A verification code is also required for the login. This verification code can only be generated by a mobile app that is linked to the account holder’s device.

Regular Penetration Tests

As digital transactions become more popular, there is also the tendency for tech fraud as attempts are made to develop more sophisticated hacking tools and software.  

Payments aggregators will, from time to time, assess the vulnerability of their systems by subjecting them to regular tests. These penetration tests are carried out by third parties in order to ensure objectivity and reveal any blind spots. 

Such tests may simulate actual attacks on the systems and are done to guarantee that the security features of the payments platform are up to standard with regard to the latest technological advancements. 

Easier Reconciliation

Detailed Transaction Data

A good payments aggregator will capture all the information that is relevant to the transaction. Such information may include: payee and payer names, date, time, amount, reference numbers, payment methods and other relevant information.

With this amount of detail, an accountant or any other user is able to search through the system and even filter according to these different criteria.

Integration with various mobile money service providers

With the development of mobile money technology, customers will have preference for various service providers. Providing a payments system that receives money from a number of service provider platforms is advantageous in attracting more customers to a business. 

For greater efficiency in reconciliation, the payments aggregator platform gives a client the ability to receive, categorise, and print off transactions according to each mobile money payments service provider. 

Automated Categorisation

Payments aggregator platforms have the ability to automatically log a transaction into a predetermined category. Examples of different categories include: by vendor, by department, by project. With this capability, accountants are saved a significant amount of time as they can easily locate and reconcile specific transactions.

Insight into customer behaviour

 The payments aggregator platform is a gold mine of information into your customer’s buying behaviour. Through the analysis of transaction data that is collected you will be able to see buying trends, peak seasons, popular products and even preferred payment methods. 

With this information, you can tailor offerings to suit your best customers, design targeted promotions and improve the overall customer experience.


 A payments aggregator allows your business to remain competitive in the era of digital and mobile money transactions. It does this first of all by embracing the advantages of mobile money technology; faster, more secure and less prone to human error.  A payments aggregator then goes further by simplifying the integration of various mobile money providers into one account thus attracting a wider customer base of users of the different platforms.

Furthermore, the data collected in these transactions gives a wealth of information on ways that your company can improve your existing customers’ experience and how to target potential customers.

Using a payments aggregator is therefore strategic both in streamlining payments processing and in investing in your business’s ability to maintain its customer base and tap into new markets.



Sign up with Yo-Uganda Limited

 As an 18-year old mobile technology company and the first mobile payment aggregator to enter the Uganda market, Yo! has the extensive experience and credibility needed to offer your business the benefits of digital payments. Get in touch with us to discuss how our ultra-high-performance suite of payments processing solutions can deliver increased efficiency, reduced costs and increased revenue for your business.

 Email us at to speak with one of our executives.

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