Saving culture: Banks should embrace mobile tech to tap mass market - experts

Financial sector players and government have been urged to continue promoting technologies and initiatives that encourage the public to save and invest. Isaac Nkusi, a financial consultant in Kigali, said banks should take advantage of mobile technology to tap into the mass market with mobile savings products, noting they are attractive as people need not have to visit banks and make deposits.

Financial sector players and government have been urged to continue promoting technologies and initiatives that encourage the public to save and invest.

Isaac Nkusi, a financial consultant in Kigali, said banks should take advantage of mobile technology to tap into the mass market with mobile savings products, noting they are attractive as people need not have to visit banks and make deposits. This way, more people will be inspired to save and, thus boost bank deposits and financial institutions’ capacity fund the private sector using locally-mobilised resources.

Celestin Rwabukumba, the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE), said financial institutions hardly rely on domestic savings to support long-term investment because most savings are short-term in nature.

“This means interest rates will remain high if the country does not embrace the culture of saving,” he noted.

Rwabukumba challenged the corporate class to save with the banks often other than investing in none generating income activities.

The FinScope survey for 2016 revealed that 30 per cent of the Rwandan population use informal means to access financial services.

Liberalise pension sector

Anagha Hunnurkar, the technical advisor at Rwanda National Investment Trust (RNIT), called for the liberalisation of the pension sector, arguing that this will give Rwandans more opportunities and options to save.

She also said there is need to review age at which can access funds saved with the pension fund, noting at 60 years one would be too old to utilise their savings to generate more money and spur growth.

The experts were speaking at a recent event that aimed at seeking solutions to national savings gap. The government targets 20 per cent national savings to GDP in the next three years.

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