Largest bank in Rwanda offers mobile banking from 2010

Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), Rwanda’s largest bank in terms of branch network and market share, yesterday announced the introduction of mobile banking for its customers starting from next year, writes Rwandan publication The New Times.

“Mobile banking is amongst our many products in the pipeline, we have also set our focus on debt recovery and commercial drive,” revealed Ben Kalkman, CEO of BPR. As from 2010, clients will be able access banking and financial services on their mobile phones, transfer, send and receive money worldwide, he said.

The bank plans to connect all its 188 branches in the country into one network to facilitate clients’ access to their accounts everywhere in Rwanda. So far, 24 branches have been connected and the process will continue until 2011, as delays are expected in most of rural areas due to lack of electricity and internet connectivity.

BPR is Rwanda’s largest bank by branch network and market share, with Rwf5.8 billion worth of capital. Last year, the bank, formerly a cooperative, achieved the status of commercial bank. Netherlands based RABOBANK holds 65% of equity in BPR, while the former cooperative members own 35%.