Mobile banking transactions increased by 183% in 2020, report

On 5 March 2021 at 11:51

The Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement (MPFSS) of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) has reported that mobile money transactions accelerated exceptionally in 2020 due to measures implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The statement is meant to assess economic and financial developments of the year 2020 and give an outlook for the year 2021 and beyond.

In 2020, mobile banking transactions increased in volume by 183 percent from 2 million to 6 million and by 224 percent in value from Rwf 85 billion in 2019 to Rwf 277 billion of transactions.

During 2020, active mobile payment subscribers (transacted in the previous 90 days) increased by 13 percent from 4,139,075 to 4,688,124 while the number of mobile agents increased by 33 percent from 98,359 to 131,173. Mobile payment transactions increased by 85 percent from 378.8 million worth Rwf2,349 billion Rwf in 2019 to 701 million worth Rwf 7,177 billion Rwf in 2020.

The report shows that comparing 2019 to 2020, the portion of cash-based transactions significantly reduced as a consequence of various policies taken to encourage digital payments and minimize the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Banks which provided internet-banking services increased to thirteen (13) from nine (9) in December 2019 and the number of subscribers increased by 9 percent from 91,825 in December 2019 to 99,810 in December 2020.

In 2020, internet banking transactions increased by 7 percent to 1,445,174 in 2020 from 1,352,301 in 2019 and by 4 percent in terms of value to Rwf 2,362 billion in 2020 from Rwf 2,276 Billion in 2019

Card based payment services

The number of traditional Point of Sale (POS) machines increased from 3,477 in December 2019 to 4,335 in December 2020. During this period, POS transactions increased by 56 percent in volume from 2,426,456 in December 2019 to 3,780,051 in 2020, while in value, POS transactions increased by 9 percent from Rwf 109 billion in 2019 to Rwf 120 billion in December 2020.

On the other hand, Automated Teller Machines (ATM) decreased from 383 in 2019 to 334 in 2020 due to the fact that two banks moved from ATMs services to Agency banking services. In terms of usage, ATM transactions decreased by 9 percent in volume from 10,061,164 in 2019 to 9,203,942 in December 2020, though the value increased by 17 percent in value from Rwf 578 billion to Rwf 679 billion considering that most people have been withdrawing larger amounts due to the limited access to ATMs during the lockdown period.

Mobile POS contributed the most to increased usage of electronic payments compared to other types of POS during the period under review.

As at end of December 2020, the number of mobile POS increased significantly to 39,7434 in December 2020 from 13,675 in 2019 due to increased adoption by various businesses such as supermarkets, retail shops, health centers and specifically microbusinesses.