Banked population rise by 20%

The number of Rwandans that have access to banking services increased to 2.5 million people last year from 2.1 million in 2008 following the restructuring of Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), the Central Bank said Wednesday. François Kanimba, the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) also attributed the drastic rise to the expansion of commercial banks.
Central Bank Governor Francois Kanimba
Central Bank Governor Francois Kanimba

The number of Rwandans that have access to banking services increased to 2.5 million people last year from 2.1 million in 2008 following the restructuring of Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), the Central Bank said Wednesday.

François Kanimba, the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) also attributed the drastic rise to the expansion of commercial banks.

“Commercial banks opened up a chain of branches across the country which attracted people to adopt the culture of banking,” Kanimba said.

A survey conducted by FINSCOPE in 2008, revealed that only 21 percent of Rwandan population embraced the services offered by commercial banks and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).

The survey said that the overwhelming barrier to banking is related to low income levels.

Meanwhile, Kanimba revealed that the East African Community (EAC) Monetary Affairs Committee is working on the establishment of a regional integrated payment system.
“The committee is also working on connecting the Real Time Growth Settlement (RTGS) and the automated house in the region’s Central Banks,” he added.

The Governor said that once the system is fully connected, it will ease money transfer services within the region. 
He also added that Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have already established the RTGS system.

“We are currently busy and ready to implement our automated transfer system (inter-banking). The project is expected to be complete by the end of this year.”

The EAC secretariat has setup a team which is working on how technically this system will be integrated.

Kanimba also revealed that regional commercial banks are working on introduction of the cross boarder card based payment system.

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