For a long time there has been a public outcry on the number of days it takes, for one to acquire an ATM card. Those who are tired of queuing in banks for a long period of time have always demanded for better and innovative ways of easing the banking processes.
The same goes for those who would love to bank at their own convenience and don’t have to worry about the banking hours.
It is against this background that the use of ATM cards came as a blessing in the world over.
However, this technology until recently had not been utilised in Rwanda, simply because of two reasons. One, the number of the ATM machines was way below the demand, and secondly, the time and the process it takes for one to acquire an ATM card.
It was only in Rwanda that one could have to wait for more than six months to receive and ATM. In other countries most especially in the East African Community (EAC) it takes a matter of days and one can bank and withdraw money anywhere anytime once in the vicinity of an ATM machine.
However, SIMTEL said late last week that it has started the production of this proprietary chip-based debit cards and that they are now available to all banks in Rwanda.
The company’s officials said that the cards will be individually branded for domestic banks interested in launching a non-Visa based debit card.
The officials also said that the company has already started a pilot phase with 3 banks in the country, producing over 600 cards in a three-week period and will ramp-up production in the coming weeks after a preliminary test period is completed.
The good news is that it will no longer take more than six months for one to receive these debit cards but just a matter of five working days. However, this calls for banks to increase the number of machines, placing them in various strategic place locations.
This will probably be one of the effective ways of increasing the percentage of the unbanked population in the country.