Rwanda: Survival Instinct Takes Over As Banks Partner With Telecoms

Thursday, July 31, 2014

As the fight for customers between banks and telecoms continues to grow by the day, banks have realised that the only way to ease the pressure and also stay competitive is to work with telecoms.

This has seen a number of banks integrate their mobile banking operations with the telecom firms’ mobile money platforms.

Market observers say the recent announcement by KCB Rwanda that it had integrated its mobile banking platform with telecom firms’ MTN and Tigo mobile money platforms (with Airtel money coming on board soon) is a clear indication of the bank’s strategy to stay competitive.

Maurice Toroitich, KCB Rwanda managing director, told The New Times in an interview that the move will enable telecom firms’ subscribers to access their bank accounts on one platform, allowing them to transfer cash from their bank accounts to mobile phones and vice versa.

KCB is not alone on the bandwagon, Airtel money and I&M Bank operate a similar arrangement, where airtel money subscribers can withdrawal cash or transact any other business from the bank’s ATMs. Equity Bank Group managing director James Mwangi recently said they were finalising their integration with the three telecoms.
Toroitich said the KCB/MTN partnership is also aimed at ensuring every Rwandan accesses financial services without difficulty. He added that the initiative would enable people use both services in the payment of utility bills.

Source: AllAfrica (link opens in a new window)

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banking, Base of the Pyramid, financial inclusion, financial innovation, mobile money