How Bank of Kigali Is Implementing the Cashless Economy 

To support Rwanda’s digital transformation, Bank of Kigali Plc, the country’s leading commercial bank, has been seamlessly involved in introducing digital products on the financial market that drastically reduce turnaround time and cost of the transaction, expand the digital market base and promote financial inclusion in Rwanda and across borders.

KT Press looks at some of the BK digital payment services which will determine the future of bank’s digital banking with lessons from the coronavirus pandemic which have made the cashless economy more meaningful to Rwandans.

BK Debit, Prepaid and Credit Cards 

Bank of Kigali offers a wide range of cards including Debit, Prepaid and Credit Cards that customers could choose from.  

The Bank’s Debit Cards allow clients to get access to cash at ATMs and payment through Point of Sale (POS) and E-commerce anywhere in the country and worldwide. The card is issued instantly at any Bank of Kigali branch.

BK’s Prepaid cards allow wallet capabilities and faster payment management. To acquire this card, one does not need to be a BK customer. The card is supported at any POS and ATM both locally and internationally, it is accepted on e-commerce and authorized merchant points for payments e.g. Amazon, Irembo, Airlines, Hotels, etc. 

The Bank also offers a variety of Credit cards (Platinum, Gold and Classic credit cards) that are designed to facilitate customers to transact even when they don’t have money in their running account. With a credit card, customers are given a credit card limit which they can utilize. 

A Classic Credit Card allow a BK customer credit of Rwf100, 000 – Rwf 1M, a Gold Credit Card allows the Bank’s customers credit of Rwf1.1M – Rwf 5M while the Platinum Credit Card allows a credit of  Rwf 5M and above.

 “The Bank’s array of cards facilitate customers to use digital cash payment systems at anytime, anywhere. Our cards help to avoid carrying hard cash and also encourages financial discipline and funds management” said Tharcisse Byukusenge, the Digital Operation Manager at Bank of Kigali.

The Bank also focuses on educating its customers on the issue of cyber security. “If a person other than you has your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and access to the last digits on the card backside, they can use it to purchase online goods without your consent. That is why educating clients’ remains our focus,” added Tharcissie.

BK POs services

BK introduced the use of Points of Sales (PoS) machines in 2012 to facilitate the need to use digital cards (Debit, Prepaid and Credit cards) for payments of services and goods at any physical business point of transaction.

Since then the service has seen growth in uptake moving from zero POS machines to over 2,400 used by small and large businesses.

The Bank embarked on a journey of sensitizing customers and business owners to leave the traditional way of payment and embrace a digital payment lifestyle which is in line with the Government’s cashless economy agenda. 

“We are noticing an important change of mindset with more customers preferring to pay through digital payment services instead of cash. This provides security and comfort to our customers and citizens in general” said Joselyn Mutesi, the Digital Business Manager at Bank of Kigali.

Benefits of using a BK POS

A BK POS is offered free-of-charge to any legal business operating in Rwanda and this comes with free installation, internet and maintenance services plus a training opportunity on how to use it. 

As an added value against other local banks’ offering, all transactions done on any BK POS are instantly reflected on the merchant’s account. For business owners, a BK POS machine guarantees security of transactions as all payments are routed directly into their accounts. This facilitates business owners to avoid the risk of taking counterfeit money and facilitate impulse buying from customers which boosts their sales volumes.

A client using a BK POS to pay, doesn’t need to carry any money but a card which guarantees payment anytime, anywhere.  BK POs machines can be found in supermarkets, retail shops, restaurants, bars, hospitals, pharmacies, petrol stations, hardware shops, book shops, hotels, schools, travel agencies, media houses, supply chain distributors, cable network service providers, airlines, etc.

E-commerce services

Bank of Kigali  also introduced its E-commerce services in order to facilitate different Payments through merchants. With BK’s E-commerce services, merchants are powered with the convenience of collecting payments for their goods and services sold online with global reach, as a result generate more sales. 

E-commerce is used by everyone who has a valid card across the world through merchants who have been enabled for the service after completing all requirements which are: a hosted website or mobile application, business bank account, a registered business under Rwanda Development Board among others.

Available Services on E-Commerce: 

Host Payments, Multi- layer fraud management, Alternative payment methods, Dynamic currency conversion and Process payment refunds.

Bank of Kigali’s E-commerce provides convenience, facilitates expansion to global markets and helps generate more sales while ensuring security of transactions to avoid fraud and chargebacks. It provides visibility of payments and allows generation of daily transaction reports. All payments are directed to the business owners’ account.

“The Bank provides guidance and technical assistance to ensure that all e-commerce services to customers are well delivered to embrace digital payments, “ said Joselyn Mutesi, the Digital Business Manager at Bank of Kigali.

BK Agency Banking 

Based on demand for bringing banking services closer to clients, in 2013, BK introduced an Agency Banking system to reach its clients countrywide.

Today the bank has authorized more than 2,174 active agents countrywide but also plans to increase the numbers of agents especially focusing on recruiting agents among small business owners affected by the coronavirus (covid-19) crisis.

Bank of Kigali Agency Banking offers several services including: cash deposit, cash withdrawal, bills payment (electricity, top-up airtime, Start Times, etc.), funds transfer (send money and receive money), cash collection, Irembo payments, bulk payments. For each service given, a receipt is generated and given to customers in order to facilitate them with easy and accurate tracking of their transactions. 

“Our agents are located in every part of the country, ready to provide seamless and rapid service. Customers are required to carry only their Identification Document (ID) while visiting our agents to get served,” said Joselyn Mutesi, the Digital Business Manager at Bank of Kigali.




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