What is Wave Uganda (1)
If you're in Uganda, you can download Wave from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store for iPhones, then register with your mobile phone number. FILE PHOTO

Wave is easy to use in Uganda. Simply download the Wave app from the Google Play Store or iPhone App Store and create an account with your cell number.

Through its “Wave” service, Wave Uganda provides a technical platform to manage business operations and distribute electronic money through a network of sub-agents and merchants.

Wave has set out to redefine the mobile money and digital finance market from its inception. Initially, mobile money was envisioned as a means of financial inclusion and accessibility to financial services for the average individual. 

However, over time, service fees, withdrawal charges, and government taxes have increased the cost of mobile money services.

That is where Wave comes in, enabling anyone with an internet connection to send and receive electronic payments inexpensively via their app. Wave has begun operations in Uganda, and here is all you need to know before downloading the smartphone app and initiating your first transaction.

Wave Account Registration and Verification

Getting started with Wave in Uganda is straightforward. Install the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store for iPhones and create an account using your mobile phone number.

Following registration, you’ll receive a QR scan code containing your account information, which Wave agents and friends can scan or use to give you money.

To begin, each transaction involving time deposits or a wave agent requires you to validate your account. You will be requested for your National ID or a similar form of identification, and the wave agent will verify your identity after photographing your National ID.

Bear in mind that verification occurs just once, and you should be able to withdraw or deposit funds from an agent without providing identifying documents following the exercise.

The free deposits come with a catch

While depositing money to your wallet is free, you must be the account holder depositing for it to be considered. Wave agents scan your QR code on the app to check that you are depositing money into your account and to confirm transactions.

If you provide someone with your account details, that is to say, your QR code or phone number, for them to assist you in depositing money through an agent, the transaction will be classified as a wallet-to-wallet transaction and you will be charged a 1% fee on the amount being sent.

Wave in Uganda agents office
To ensure that you are depositing money into your Wave wallet, Wave agents scan your QR code on the app to verify you are depositing money and confirm transactions. Depositing money into your wallet is free, but you must be the account holder. FILE PHOTO

Transaction Fees (1% Fee) when sending money metween Wallets

This is by far the most economical and cheapest rate available for sending money across the mobile money ecosystem. They impose a 1% convenience fee when you transfer or send money across wallet accounts. 

That translates to a fee of as little as 50 UGX for a 5000 UGX transaction and a maximum flat price of 12,500 UGX for any transaction exceeding 1,250,000 UGX.

The following is a breakdown of the Wave Uganda app’s sending fee charges:

Amount to be sent (UGX)Service fee (UGX)
5,00050
10,000100
100,0001,000
1,250,00010,000
2,000,00012,500
4,000,00012,500
5,000,00012,500

Cash withdrawals are completely free

Wave Uganda is heavily investing in a fleet of agent networks and is attempting to be as close to customers as possible. You may have noticed Wave signage flying around cities and at all nearby mobile money points.

The good news is that money withdrawals from a Wave agent wallet are completely free. 

They offer an agent locator on their website that allows you to search for nearby agents, but you should be able to see one with the Wave signpost outside their shop.

Free utility bill payments

Wave’s latest feature enables customers to make free utility payments using the app.

Any piece of technology eventually reaches a point when innovation slows down and growth stagnates. This is what happened to Airtel Money and MTN mobile money

High transaction fees, taxes, and charges have become prohibitively expensive for the majority of clients.

This may sound insignificant, but if you are cost-conscious, especially when conducting transactions, ave mobile money is a viable alternative that you should consider.

Steps to pay utility bills for free using the Wave app

Step 1: After downloading the Wave mobile app and registering with your mobile phone number, you will be prompted to scan a QR code that contains your account details. Choose “Bills” from the menu selections given to begin using Wave to pay your utility bills.

Step 2: The utility payment alternatives will include Yaka, Umeme, the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, DSTV, and GOTV. Proceed by selecting the service you wish to pay for.

Step 3: Enter your utility account information and the amount you wish to pay and click Continue. To complete transactions, enter your Wave Mobile Money PIN or fingerprint. Remember, your transaction is completely free, and no additional cost will be charged from your Wave mobile money account.  

You Can’t Transfer Money from Outside the Country to Your Wallet

SendWave, the parent firm of Wave, built by Drew Dublin and Lincoln Quirk who is currently the CEO and Head of Product for Wave respectively, is a remittance startup focused on African diaspora members transferring money home. 

With their pivot to mobile money transactions and creating the infrastructure in Senegal and adjacent countries, there is an opportunity for them to open up the pipeline for international remittances to local wallets.

With all the networks being constructed at the moment, the concept is hardly implausible. Let’s hope this continues to be the case as they grow in size and consumer base.

Agent location

Wave mobile money is a newcomer to the market and is creating a footprint through investments in their agent network. They are by no means comparable to the top telecom networks in Uganda such as MTN and Airtel. 

However, you will not have difficulty finding an agent to withdraw or deposit your money at any time as you can check the app to enable you to locate the agent nearest to you. 

For more information on how Wave works and any updates to their services, you can check out their website at wave.com. You can also visit their offices at Hive Colab, Plot 90 Kanjokya Street, Kamwokya, Kampala.