MobiCash Launches E-Wallets for Rwanda's Unbanked

Published 30 Nov 20

In a bid to provide formal financial services to all Rwandans, mobile banking platform, MobiCash Rwanda, which launched in the country last year, is set to launch electronic wallets to Rwandans to drive financial access to the unbanked and underbanked. According to Pascal Nyagahene, the MobiCash Rwanda chief executive officer, “We are removing all the barriers barring people, especially those in the grassroots from accessing formal financial services.” Nyagahene said they are currently doing a pilot phase of the platform that will see people open accounts, deposit and withdraw money and 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, purchasing electricity, pay-tv subscriptions, and purchase airtime. The 2016 Finscope Survey that was launched last month in Kigali indicated that 90 percent of Rwandans have access to financial services. However, 72 percent of them are excluded from formal financial services, up from 52 percent in 2012. At the launch of the survey, John Rwangombwa, the governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) noted that the use of mobile banking technology is key in getting those transacting informally to formal. “Digital financial platforms especially those accessible on mobile phones can be used as a tool towards bringing more Rwandans to formal financial services,” he said. Nyagahene also noted that they are working with different financial sector stakeholders such as banks, payment switches and the mobile network providers to see that they integrate the MobiCash platform with theirs so as to enable people to easily transfer funds from their bank accounts or mobile money wallets to their MobiCash accounts, thus providing an array of options for people to work with affordably. “We are not looking at providing competition to the banks and mobile money players but at ways, we can complement each other in order to achieve the bigger goal of financial inclusion for all and a cashless economy,” Nyagahene closed.