In what is believed to be one of the latest adaptive measures, people receiving mails from the post office in the country will soon be receiving an SMS alert.
The Director-General of the National Post Office (NPO), Celestin Kayitare, said the move is geared at enhancing customer loyalty and improving service delivery.
“We are working on it and plan to launch it soon. It may not necessarily bring in more customers but it is a way of creating loyalty among existing customers by offering better customer service and showing that the post office is modernising its services,” he said.
“We are evaluating the offers we have received from two software developers and once we choose one, we shall then introduce the service which we expect to be operational not later than May this year,” he added.
Kayitare also said the SMS alert will extend to all products, including renewal of letter box subscription, parcel processing, balance on postal checking accounts and incoming mail. The new product, once put in place will revolutionalise the communication sector, he said.
People who still use the post office welcomed the new scheme. Ivan Kayonga, a Kigali resident who uses a shared family post office box, said the new product will save them the burden of checking empty mail boxes. One will instead check when they are sure there is something, he said.
Kayonga said he usually checks the box once in a month mostly in December for season’s cards.
Before the revised 1992 legislation establishing NPO was passed, last year, MPs queried the relevance of the post office in a world of changing communication technology coupled with the rise of trendy and more efficient competitors.
However, during the Bill’s initial debate in parliament, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, told MPs that contrary to common perceptions, technological advances have not made the national post office services worthless.
The minister explained that NPO is adapting to technological advancement and making profits.
Joshua Tahinduka, a student at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology (formerly KIST), said: “I use the post office to receive magazines for my club, so, I think if we have SMS alerts, then it is better for us. Sometimes we receive them (magazines) long after delivery just because we are reluctant to check our boxes regularly .”