Rwanda finally rolls out mobile money interoperability
Over 6 million mobile money subscribers in Rwanda can finally enjoy cross-network transfer services at no cost after two rival network operators interlinked their platforms under the Rwanda National Digital Payment System.
The latter is an interoperable and instant payment between all financial institutions in the country, including commercial banks, mobile money network operators, microfinances, and Savings&Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs).
“Airtel Money and Mobile Money Rwanda Limited customers will be able to send and receive money to each other instantly in their respective wallets at no additional costs,” announced RSwitch Ltd, a local brand involved in facilitating electronic payment settlements.
The changes take effect from today May 26, according to the statement.
All the mobile money users are required to do is to accept the terms and conditions of their respective mobile money network operators by dialing *182*11#, and go ahead to send and receive funds across different networks by dialling *182*1*2#.
This process, also referred to as interoperability, has been hailed as going help deepen financial inclusion while equally offering users convenience and lower transaction costs, among other benefits.
“We apprehended the needs of consumers and the financial sector to deliver on instant and inclusive set of interoperable payment systems. This is well aligned with Rwanda's cashless economy strategies,” said Mathieu Rwiyereka, RSwitch Chief Executive.
According to Rwanda central bank’s 2020/2021 report, mobile payments subscribers increased by 25 per cent from 4.9 million in June 2020 to 6.1 million in June 2021.
This saw the number of mobile payment transactions increase by 42 per cent from 299 million in first half of 2020 to 424.7 million in 2021 while the value of transactions increased by 100 per cent from Rwf2,580 billion to Rwf5,169 billion.
The 2020 FinScope survey data had indicated that 86 per cent of adults in Rwanda have access to a cell phone, and about 3 in every 5 adults -- estimated 4.3 million -- use mobile money.
However, over 40 per cent of the mobile money subscribers were found to have used their accounts once or twice monthly, less often in 60 days to 12 months while others had their accounts dormant.
It is more or less the same to bank accounts holders whose number is estimated at 36 per cent of the total population. Of them only 31 per cent were found to have used their account at least three or more time on a monthly basis.
According to the survey, about 34 per cent of the adult population do not have access to either a mobile money account and/or bank account.