Unbanked and underbanked Rwandans could soon be able to access a variety of financial services, thanks to MobiCash Rwanda’s electronic wallets (e–wallets). The launch of e–wallets by MobiCash, a mobile banking platform, will also increase access to formal financial services to the majority of the population, Pascal Nyagahene, the MobiCash Rwanda chief executive officer, said.
Nyagahene said the firm was currently conducting a pilot phase of the platform that will see people open accounts, deposit and withdraw money as well as send and receive money.
Account holders will also be able to carry out the existing value-added services, such as making Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) payments, paying for electricity bills, or pay-TV subscriptions and buying airtime.
“We are removing all the barriers stopping Rwandans, especially those at the grassroots, from accessing formal financial services,” Nyagahene said in an interview over the weekend.
The 2016 Finscope Survey indicates that 90 per cent of Rwandans have access to financial services. However, 72 per cent of the population are excluded from formal financial services, up from 52 per cent in 2012.
At the launch of the survey in Kigali last month, John Rwangombwa, the governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), noted that use of mobile banking technology is key to bringing on board the masses from informal transactions to formal ones.
“Digital financial platforms, especially those accessible on mobile phones, can be used as a tool toward bringing more Rwandans to formal financial services,” Rwangombwa said.
Nyagahene said they are working with different financial sector stakeholders, such as banks, payment switches, and mobile network providers to integrate the MobiCash platform with theirs so that people can be able to transfer funds from their bank accounts or mobile money wallets to their MobiCash accounts. “This provides an array of affordable options for people to work with.”
Nyagahene said the service is not going to compete with banks and mobile money players, but “we will complement each other in order to achieve the bigger goal of financial inclusion for all and a cashless economy.”