‘Mobile Money’ transfers hit Rwf 45 billion mark
About Rwf45 billion has been moved through the ‘Mobile Money transfer facility since MTN Rwanda introduced the services.
Albert Kinuma, the Head of Mobile Money at MTN, told the Sunday Times that the telecommunication company had made a tremendous step in mobile money services.
Kinuma’s remarks follow the ongoing campaign to sensitise the general public about the potential offered by the use of mobile money transfers and mobile banking services.
The Ministry in charge of ICT, together with Rwanda Development Board (RDB), telecom companies, Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA), financial institutions and local government leaders, are behind the National ICT campaign.
“I believe this is a very important initiative. Getting the support of the minister and stakeholders is highly valuable to the industry. We have done well in the development of the mobile money services so far,” Kinuma asserted.
He pointed out that MTN mobile money transfers have empowered people substantially as it is now cheaper and safer to move money across the country.
According to Dr. Ignace Gatare, the Minister in the President’s Office in Charge of ICT, it is necessary to strengthen synergies between various stakeholders to enable the public understand the economical opportunities and numerous benefits offered by electronic transactions using mobile telecommunications.
“The campaign started a series of public awareness campaigns with field activities during this month in selected four districts in all provinces. We have been in Kamonyi and Kayonza. Next week we shall be in Rubavu and Musanze Districts,” he said.
Gatare stated that the campaign targets a large audience pool comprising local government and district opinion leaders, civil society and the district business community.
“At the end of the drive, we expect increased public awareness on the economic benefits of using mobile phones for electronic money transfer, mobile banking and utilities service payment,” the ICT Minister noted.
During the last two years, the mobile telecommunications sector has recorded a significant increase in terms of mobile telephone subscriber base from 2.43 million in 2009 to 4.44 million as of December 2011.
By the end of last year, 424,326 subscribers had been registered as active users of mobile money transfer services, representing only about 9 percent of the total mobile subscriber base.
John Bosco Sebabi, the Director Payment Systems Department in the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), said that more efforts were needed to enable the public understand the multiple benefits that come with the use of mobile transactions.
“We would like the public to be active users of mobile payment services such as purchase of pre-paid electricity, pay TV credit cards and other services,” he asserted.
He mentioned that mobile transactions are regulated as a payment services, and telecommunication companies first seek permission from Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) before offering the services to the public.
Contact email: frank.kanyesigye[at]newtimes.co.rw