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13 May, at 16 : 22 PM Print
Rwanda second leading telecom company-Tigo Rwanda has launched the first interoperability platform which will see 70 sector saving cooperatives (Umurenge SACCOS) avail mobile financial services to more than 77,000 Customers in 20 districts nationwide.
This is expected to propel Rwanda’s bid to become a cashless economy by 2020 and under this partnership, customers with both bank accounts in SACCOS and Tigo cash wallets will be able to transfer funds from their SACCO accounts to their Tigo Cash wallets and vice versa automatically.
SACCOs have proved to be a great contributor to financial inclusion amongst the Rwandan population especially in rural areas and this partnership will increase the number of banked population.
“We believe that by connecting these Saccos to our Tigo Cash system, we will allow these financial institutions to scale up because many of them cannot open branches around the areas they would want to cover.” Tigo Rwanda Head of Mobile Financial Services, Faith Chisulo said:
“This new platform will help our customers who live far away from their local SACCO Branch from wasting precious time travelling long distances” she added.
According to Central Bank figures between December 2012 and December 2015, the number of mobile money accounts increased by 432% from 1,440,541 to 7,663,199, the number of transactions using mobile money increased by 659.8% from 22,191,674 to 168,612,455 and the number of agents increased by 1211.7% from 3,085 to 40,467 in the period under review.
Over $350 million has been transacted through the Tigo Cash system since its inception and over 2.7 million customers use the platform.
This development is expected to have increased formal access to financial service between 2012 and 2015 more than what was achieved between 2008 and 2012.
Tigo Rwanda Head of Mobile Financial Services, Faith Chisulo added: “SACCOs are located in some areas that are a bit challenging to some of their customers in terms of access.
In addition to this new partnership with Umurenge SACCOs, Tigo has had a similar platform with three local commercial banks namely Access Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank and Bank of Kigali since 2014.
In a related development, Tigo Rwanda unveiled the very first SMART Village project in Tumba Sector, Rulindo District, Northern Province in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and ICT as well as RwandaOnline, Mobisol, Sheecom and the local area Umurenge Sacco.
The key components of the SMART Village project, as described by the SMART Rwanda Master Plan (2015- 2020) are Internet access for all, digital literacy, financial inclusion and job creation related to ICT.