Rwandan telco to launch m-banking service

Rwandan telco to launch m-banking service

Rwandatel is set to launch a mobile banking and money transfer service later this year, becoming the latest African telco to target the continent's huge unbanked market.

In an interview with Reuters, the Libyan-owned firm's CEO Patrick Kariningufu says that from October users will be able to send and receive money internationally via text message.

Subscribers will be able to make deposits and withdraw funds from shops and kiosks around the country. Customers who run out of credit can also apply for a loan.

Kariningufu says Rwandatel has already signed up 140,000 subscribers - 15% of the market - since launching just one month ago and taking on South Africa's MTN.

Rwandatel is the latest telecomms firm to enter the burgeoning mobile finance market in emerging economies in Africa. In Kenya, Safaricom's mobile money transfer service M-Pesa has led the way and last month hit the five million subscriber milestone.

But the service has come under fire recently from financial institutions because it currently operates outside existing banking regulations. This has led to Kenyan finance minister John Michuki ordering an audit in an effort to allay concerns about the safety of users' money.

Rwandatel to launch mobile phone banking - Reuters

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