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Cashless economy in Rwanda: Is Mobile Money too expensive?





In most of Kigali’s business outlets, a client paying for a product or service via Mobile Money is often required to add at least Rwf300 considered as withdrawal charges.
 
This renders cashless payments more expensive than paying cash over the counter and has led to reluctance by entrepreneurs to embrace the cashless payment system that the Government, through the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), promotes.
 
This could also explain why despite the growth of mobile money penetration and transactions over the years, much of the money is cashed out or used for airtime purchases.
 
For instance, at least six million mobile transactions valued at Rwf2,058 billion were carried out in the first half of 2019, according to BNR.
 
However, the same figures show, only 4 per cent of the sum was used to pay merchants for either goods or services.


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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

The cashless society from an ethical point of view