Cogebanque Plc made its presence outstandingly noticed during the Tour du Rwanda 2023 as the race gold sponsor for the 12th year. The 2023 edition, which started February 19 and ran through February 26, attracted 95 riders from 19 teams including Team Rwanda and May Stars from Rwanda. However, only 55 riders managed to finish the race. Eric Manizabayo and Moise Mugisha abandoned due to various reasons. Eritrean rider Henok Mulueberhan of Green Project-Bardiani was crowned winner of the race, finishing triumphant after covering 1,054.6 kilometers overall in 58 hours 28 minutes. The bank has been among key partners of Tour du Rwanda for years by awarding the best climber with Marc Oliver Pritzen of EF Education- Nippo taking home this year’s prize. ALSO READ: What Cogebanque has in store for customers at Tour du Rwanda 2023 Antoine Iyamuremye, Head of Marketing and Product development, said that they were content with bringing the bank’s services closer to its clients. Tour du Rwanda happened at a time the bank was running a campaign dubbed ‘Tugendane’ which is loosely translated as ‘let’s walk together’ as an opportunity to tell Rwandans that the bank is willing to walk with them towards achieving their financial goals. ALSO READ: Cogebanque embarks on drive to deepen financial inclusion through “TUGENDANE” Campaign “This is where anyone who does not have an account in Cogebanque or a dormant account, can open or activate it again to be able to access banking services including SmartCard and SmartCash cards,” Iyamuremye said. “There is also the use of Mobile Banking so that a person can access services at any time, even at night when s/he wants to buy electricity or other things,” he added. It is during the campaign that that bank continued to encourage various companies to use internet banking to access fast financial services. Expansion of SchoolGear product Cogebanque expanded services of the SchoolGear product with which parents are not necessarily required to present bank slips because the process allows direct linkage with partner schools. As for the places we have been to like Huye, Rubavu and Musanze and in the city of Kigali which have many schools, we introduced the SchoolGear method where the institution that cooperates with Cogebanque uses this method for free so that a student or parent pays school fees in a quick and easy way,” Iyamuremye explained. The advantage of using School Gear is that it is an integrated system that allows the school to know who has attended, who has paid and so forth, he further noted. To use this method, you can dial *700# and pay or go to the nearest Cogebanque branch or through the bank's website. SchoolGEAR can be used through bank branches, agents or Mobile Money. It can be used by pre-primary, primary, secondary and university schools. It is free to use both for schools and parents who use it to pay school fees, only if they use Mobile Money or through an agent who is required to pay Rwf600 per term. In the Tour du Rwanda, Cogebanque again approached its agents, thanking them more for their contribution in providing financial services to a wide range of the bank’s customers. Iyamuremye described the agents as “partners we trust and we chose them to help us in this journey where they can open an account dubbed ‘Itezimbere’ with no monthly fee.” Rwandans were also encouraged to use various loans to help them develop and access financial services without barriers. “Going with Cogebanque means a lot in the journey of self-development. We are reminding customers how to win rewards by continuing to use the bank’s services,” said Iyamuremye. A Cogebanque customer who wants to use Mobile banking technology dials *505# on phone. They can install the CogemBank application on smartphones, register in Internet Banking, own a Cogembank MasterCard (debit, credit and prepaid) that allows them to pay and shop in Rwanda and around the world, or even use a Smart cash card. Since it started operating in Rwanda, Cogebanque has 28 branches that help it deliver services to its customers across the country. It has 36 ATMs, more than 650 agents helping students to open accounts, make deposits and withdrawals.