Bank Populare du Rwanda (BPR) invested more that Rwf1.3b in automating all its branches and outlets countrywide in order to increase access to finance and tap into the unbanked rural population.
The Bank’s Chief Operations Officer, Konde Bugingo, said automation of the bank will also open financial gates worldwide and make financial transactions between Rwanda and other countries more flexible and affordable.
“We are moving with modern times of banking, making it easier, convenient, affordable and more flexible for all people. We want someone to be able to receive money from abroad direct to his account in the village,” he said.
Speaking to Business Times on Wednesday, Bugingo said the fund will also cover refurbishment of the branches, equipping staff with new customer skills and synchronize bank data at all branches and outlets.
Automation of the branches will be the second exclusive product for the bank after the mobile banking that has registered tremendous success and improved rural financial transactions, he said.
“The farmers will be able to sell their produce to the traders and be paid instantly through our mobile banking and ATMs, and we can give them loans according to the transactions they have made on their phones.
“Not only are we giving our clients more option and making their life more flexible but also improve access to financial services for them.”
The mobile banking which, is being used by many to pay their water, electricity bills and purchase items in shops has since last year attracted 30,000 clients, giving the bank more potency to invest more.
He said that the combined turnover from mobile banking was Rwf400m, adding that: “Now we want to add more services like land registry, payment of bus fares, merchant platform for traders and interface connection where civil servants will be able to access their salaries in time.”
The exercise which is taking a lapse of one year will see all the 189 branches, sub braches and outlets synchronized, revamped and installed with automated teller machines (ATMs).