FINANCE:Extending services closer
Rita Ngarambe, the Executive Secretary of Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda-AMIR, Monday, announced plans to introduce mobile banking to cater for the unbanked population in rural areas.
Talking to The Business Times, Ngarambe, noted that mobile banking is a new product expected to increase financial inclusion in remote areas.
“This is the way forward for all MFIs to cater for the unbanked in rural areas, because it is easier with mobile than setting up branches,” she said.
Ngarambe said that after intensive sensitisation in financial literacy that saw a rise in savings, especially in rural areas, there was need for an appropriate product.
“Most MFIs have responded to our call to design products suitable for our rural poor, which has increased their penetration in rural areas. Now we want to see how we can deliver better services,” she said.
She added that the mobile banking would spread to all MFIs using the experience from some of the MFIs which have already adopted the product.
Vianney Nzagahimana, Umwalimu SACCO board chairman, welcomed the development, saying mobile banking would cut transport costs as it will be easier doing transactions on a mobile handset.
“Most people now own phones, so it is easier for us to use mobile banking to make our services convenient.”
Both mobile telecommunication companies, MTN and Tigo have rolled out mobile banking services which has prompted financial institutions to respond by adopting the product.