Rwanda: Mobile Payment Transactions Grow By 206%

23 February 2021

The value of mobile payment volumes increased by 206 per cent in 2020 to Rwf 7.177 billion from Rwf2.349 billion in the previous year, statistics from the central bank show.

Mobile payment transactions increased by 85 percent from 378.8 million transactions in 2019 to 701 million transactions.

In 2020, Mobile points of sale (POS) increased significantly to 39,743, excluding the acceptance points provided by motorcycle taxi riders from 13,675 in 2019 with transactions value growing by 1,514 per cent in value from Rwf 52 billion to Rwf846 billion.

The growth across the channels was largely driven by the pandemic and measures to curb it which included promotion of digital payments as customers and merchants sought safe means of payment to prevent the spread of the virus.

Going forward, to sustain the growth trends in mobile money payments and transactions the Central Bank has called on service providers to ensure continued merchant on-boarding across the country across all sectors as well as ensuring the availability and reliability of systems to build and maintain customer trust.

Peace Uwase, the Director-General of the Financial Stability at the Central Bank said that building on the progress made should also be characterized by enhanced security to ensure customers are not being defrauded as well as timely resolution of customer complaints and expedited refunds where necessary.

Further considerations that will facilitate building on progress made include pricing to ensure that it is affordable and also in line the national cashless agenda.

MTN Rwanda recently reported that during the course of 2020, the active mobile money user base had grown from 2.8 million to 3.2 million while MoMo Pay users had increased from about 200,000 to about 1.4 million.

However, with the increased uptake and usage mobile money, there has been an increase of fraud which sector stakeholders say they are constantly working to curb including

According to Rwanda Investigation Bureau, among the top ways mobile money users should be on the lookout for include fraudsters sending edited messages to clients claiming to have sent money erroneously, Prompting cash-out transactions without customers consent, sharing of PINs between customers or agents and impersonating telecom agents.

Other common ways of fraud include Agents fraudulently swapping customers Sim cards and stealing their money as well as fraudsters stealing customers' bank credentials and 'pull money' from their account.

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