MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Rwanda’s Bank of Kigali Announces New ‘mVisa’ Mobile Banking Service

The Bank of Kigali (BK), a commercial bank based in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, reportedly has announced the development of a new mobile banking product, ‘mVisa’, that is expected to allow rural populations to gain access to banking services that historically have been inaccessible to rural Rwandans. According to a statement attributed to Lawson Naibo, the chief operations officer of BK, the service will aim to allow rural clients to easily access their bank account through their mobile phone and encourage higher banking participation rates in rural Rwandan communities where bank branches are often not present.

The service, which was designed by the US-based financial services corporation Visa, is expected to be interoperable with all other mobile money services in Rwanda, allowing users to deposit and withdraw cash from their bank account using any of the country’s existing mobile money services. Users also will be able to purchase additional mobile airtime, send and receive money from other mobile banking customers and view account statements and balances on their mobile device.

As of 2012, BK had total assets of USD 511 million. For the year 2012, Visa reported total assets of USD 40 billion.

By Makai McClintock, Research Associate

About The Bank of Kigali (BK):
The Bank of Kigali (BK) is a Rwandan commercial bank that is licensed by the National Bank of Rwanda, the country’s central bank. BK was established in 1966 and offers various loan products, savings accounts and other financial instruments to the people of Rwanda. As of 2012, BK had total assets of USD 511.9 million.

About Visa
Founded in 1958, Visa is a US-based financial services corporation.  For the year 2012, Visa reported total assets of USD 40 billion. Visa cards are accepted in approximately 170 countries.

Sources and Additional Resources

AllAfrica.com Article, “Rwanda: Bank Launches Mvisa in Rwanda,” http://allafrica.com/stories/201307291891.html?page=2

MicroCapital story, April 29, 2013, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nonperforming Microfinance Loans in Rwanda Drop from 12% to 8.5%,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-nonperforming-microfinance-loans-in-rwanda-drop-from-12-to-8-5/

MicroCapital story, June 12, 2011, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR) Cautions Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Against “One-Size-Fits-All” Approach, Particularly in Rural Areas,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-association-of-microfinance-institutions-in-rwanda-amir-cautions-microfinance-institutions-mfis-against-%e2%80%9cone-size-fits-all%e2%80%9d-approach-particularly-in-rural-area/

MicroCapital story, March 28, 2011, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR) Seeks Government Support, Tax Breaks,” https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-association-of-microfinance-institutions-in-rwanda-amir-seeks-government-support-tax-breaks/

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Bank of Kigali

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Visa Incorporated

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