Rwanda’s Central Bank says mobile money take the lion’s share of all transactions made online across the country.
At a debate organized by National Young Entrepreneur’s Championship Debate at Rwanda Revenue Authority premises yesterday, Central Bank deputy governor Monique Nsanzabaganwa says of all digital services in the country, mobile money covers 95 percent of channels used in payments made online.
The debate brought together young students from Lycee de Kigali and King David Academy – all from the capital Kigali who met at the grand finale of the debate to discuss about the government’s ‘Cashless Economy’ policy.
Speaking at the event, Central Bank vice governor Monique Nsanzabaganwa said that of all digital transactions made 46 percent of adults accounting for 2.76 million people have access and use digital finance services for payments and transactions.”
Out of the number, she said, “15 percent of the 45 percent use digital financial services unassisted and 31 percent use it over the counter.”
In 2008, government initiated a policy to ensure that its economy go cashless.
“Rwanda’s Cashless Economy journey started in 2008. A lot has been achieved with card payment and mobile financial services.”
On promoting cashless economy, Central Bank deputy governor Nsanzabaganwa says government still needs to reduce the cost of using digital financial services without removing money in the ecosystem.
The country believes its policy on cashless economy is being implemented at a good pace. However, Rwandans still prefer to carry cash in hands due to security.
“Rwandans find cash easily accessible and safe to carry which has been attributed to the security in the country though this has to change,” Nsanzabaganwa said during an interaction with debaters.
According to Central Bank figures, the use of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) increased from 84 machines in 2010 to 4,004 machines as of December 2016.
Point of Sales (PoS) also increased from 99 terminals in 2010 to 1,885 terminals by December 2016; while 1,448 and 59,952 bank and mobile money agents respectively were recorded by December 2016.
Meanwhile, debit cards increased from 41,377 to 746,458 whereas credit cards increased from 172 to 3,668 as of December 2016.
The Minister of youth who also attended the debate said liquid cash is still a threat to the economy.
“Liquid cash is a window to corruption thus the need to promote a cashless Economy,” she said.
She however added, “Our systems are resilient hence no need to fear hackers.”
In the East African Community (EAC), Kenya is at the forefront of going cashless followed by Rwanda.