[PHOTOS]: MTN launches MoKash savings, loan service

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MTN Rwanda chief executive Bart Hofker speaks during the launch of a groundbreaking savings and loans product dubbed 'MoKash' yesterday. (Photos by Timothy Kisambira)

MTN mobile money subscribers have a new avenue to save and borrow money, thanks to a new platform, known as MoKash.

MTN Rwanda in partnership with Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), yesterday, launched the ground-breaking savings and loans product that allows registered MTN Mobile Money customers to save, earn interest and to take loans on a short term basis using their phones.

 The first of its kind in the market, the new product is expected to boost government’s efforts to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy, Claver Gatete, the minister for finance and economic planning, said.

“The launch of MoKash in Rwanda is in line with the government’s objective of making Rwanda a cash-less transaction economy, and we are proud to play our part to this vision,” Minister Gatete told The New Times after launching the platform in Kigali yesterday.

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L-R: MTN Rwanda chief executive Bart Hofker, central bank vice governor Monique Nsanzabaganwa, and Isaac Awuondo, the CBA’s group managing director during the launch of  the ground-breaking savings and loans product yesterday.

Isaac Awuondo, the CBA’s group managing director, said the product is designed to present every fully registered MTN Mobile Money customer with an opportunity to transfer their mobile money into a bank account and earn interest of up to 7% per annum.

“Today signifies another major milestone in the evolution of MTN mobile money services through the addition of MoKash savings and loans to our financial services portfolio. We believe that we are aiding financial inclusion and will thereby add substantial value to the development and social well-being of Rwandans across the country,” Awuondo said adding that making a deposit into MoKash Bank account for MTN mobile money subscribers will be done free with no ledger fees or minimum balance requirements.

“This, therefore, means that MoKash makes it possible for our customers to grow; especially those that are keen on saving, they can set up an auto-saving arrangement off their mobile money wallet to make regular deposits into their interest earning bank savings account,” he noted.

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Banks' chief executives (L-R) Maurice Toroitich, (KCB Rwanda) Hannington Namara,(Equity Bank) and Dr Diane Karusisi of Bank of Kigali during the launch.

“With MoKash, customers will have the opportunity to complement their savings with instant credit, to make investments into their businesses, pay for school fees or respond to a financial emergency. Loans are offered at a one-time facility fee of 9% and requests are processed in seconds,” said Bart Hofker, the MTN Rwanda chief executive officer.

Driving financial inclusion

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) vice governor, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, lauded the product calling it another important milestone towards boosting financial inclusion.

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Finance minister Claver Gatete said that the new product is expected to further drive government’s efforts to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy. 

She urged stakeholders to work closely with the central bank to make sure the product is a success.

“Mobile money has been a phenomenal economic driver in Rwanda, lives have been transformed by improving the speed and convenience of payments. Therefore, no doubt that this new product will greatly enhance efficiency and competitiveness of the financial sector in the country,” she noted.

More about Mokash

Customers candial *182# to access the product for as long they are registered on mobile money.

Through this innovative service, CBA serves 26 million customers in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and now in Rwanda.

Rwanda Utility regulatory agency (RURA) estimates the number of mobile phone users at over 8,9million with over 4 million registered on the MTN network.

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Youth and ICT minister, Jean Philbert Nsengimana speaks during the launch of a ground breaking savings and loans product.
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Guests follow proceedings during the launch. 
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Guests pose in a group photo after the launch of  the savings and loans product dubbed ‘MoKash’yesterday.
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Guests watch a video during the launch of  a ground breaking savings and loans product dubbed ‘MoKash’yesterday.
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MTN Rwanda chief executive officer Bart Hofker,speaks during the  launch of  a ground breaking savings and loans product dubbed ‘MoKash’yesterday.
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Vice governor, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, lauded the product as another important milestone in financial inclusion.
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Waringa Kibe country director at Access to Finance Rwanda responds to a question during a panel discussion. 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw