I&M Bank unveils new drive

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Byishimo speaks at the launch of 'KIRA' campaign in Kigali last week. (Photos Nadege Imbabazi)

I&m Bank has launched a new campaign to promote the cashless economy initiative and ensure financial inclusion.

The drive is aimed at deepening use of mobile banking facilities, like debit and credit cards, and targets the unbanked population, Faustin R. Byishimo, the executive director and division head business development at I&M Bank, said.

Byishimo was speaking at the launch of the bank’s “KIRA I&M Riches” campaign on Tuesday in Kigali. He said, during the three-month promotion, customers who will open accounts with the bank will get free VISA cards and online banking services.

Byishimo said I&M Bank has adopted electronic banking as it seeks to bring some of the millions of unbanked Rwandans into the formal banking sector, and promote the government’s push for a cashless society.

“Through “KIRA I&M Riches” drive we hope to sensitise the public about the benefits of facilities like debit and credit cards, as well as mobile banking. This, we believe, will help boost uptake of electronic and agency banking facilities and bring on board new customers,” Byishimo added.

Provision of such services has helped make the local financial sector competitive, according to industry experts.

The experts say e-facilities have helped the financial sector improve operational efficiency and service delivery.

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Faith Kabusingye head of product development and transaction banking services in I&M bank addresses the media during press conference in Kigali.

By promoting use of mobile banking services and cards, I&M Bank is looking to leverage these benefits and spur growth.

While Faith Kobusingye, the I&M Bank head of product development and transitional banking services, said banks need to play a key role in deepening financial inclusion services and savings mobilisation, besides providing services that meet customer needs.

She said using prepaid cards makes it easy for customers to transact and access banking services.

The 2016 Finscope Survey indicates that 90 per cent of Rwandans have access to financial services. However, 72 per cent of the population are excluded from formal financial services, up from 52 per cent in 2012.

Rwanda targets to achieve a gross national savings ratio of 20 per cent of GDP by 2018 under the National Saving Strategy adopted in 2009.

Under Smart Rwanda initiative, the government promotes use of information and communication technologies in all spheres of life, including banking, to  knowledge-based society and positioning Rwanda as an ICT hub in the region.