ICT Africa Headline News

More Persuasion Needed to Embrace Digital Payments

30 October, 2014

Source: New Times



Rwanda, on Wednesday, joined Better than Cash Alliance, an international organisation that facilitates transition from cash to electronic payments, as the country inches ever closer to a cashless economy. The development came in the same week Rwanda is marking the World Savings Day.

A couple of years ago, electronic banking was synonymous to some complicated bankers' jargon. Credit cards were the reserve of the few privileged or holders of foreign bank accounts.

Today, Rwanda's financial community has gone under the surgeon's knife that soon paper work - and cheque books for that matter - might soon be history, the same goes for money changers.

Electronic banking has brought in place easy conversion of currency and eliminated long lines in banking halls. But a mindset change is still needed, especially among traders who have not fully embraced the culture.

It is not uncommon to see people with large brown paper bags stuffed with wads of cash waiting to deposit it in banks, a pure recipe for disaster should a highwayman strike. Therefore financial institutions still need a lot of persuasion to convince those still clinging to conservative financial practices of keeping money under mattresses.

Electronic banking is a win-win situation for all; not only will bank customers have easy and safe access to their accounts, banks will also reap from the windfall of more customers while authorities will be able to keep a tab on monetary movements.

But as we transit towards a cashless economy, there is need to put in place robust measures to keep abreast with new technology to ward off cyber criminals who are getting smarter by the day. Financial institutions need to keep one step ahead as far as security measures are concerned. That is the only way they will sow trust among those still dragging their feet.

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