The Bank of Kigali has kicked off a client appreciation program in which ten farmers who outstandingly use the bank’s Ikofi – an e-wallet product, will be rewarded every week.
Built in 2019, IKOFI was introduced as an agricultural financing facility that enables farmers to build a saving profile to access timely agriculture micro loans to purchase agricultural requirements such as fertilizers, seeds and other needs.
The Ikofi wallet product has since last month been expanded to benefit coffee farmers and now has over 1,767 agro dealers.
Moreover, 263,691 farmers are active IKOFI wallet users benefiting from the service by digitally paying for their agro-inputs through mobile phones.
With this Ikofi community, BK said that lucky farmers will each get up to Rwf50, 000 which they will in turn use to purchase farm inputs such as fertilizers, seeds to support their agricultural activities.
The rewarding program was launched this October 5, 2021 and will go on for the next 12 weeks.
It was launched in Kigali by the CEO of Bank of Kigali PLC, Dr. Diane Karusisi.
Karusisi said that the program, which is also at the core focus of the bank’s engagement in promoting agriculture development, is intended to encourage farmers to the e-wallet product so as to access more loans.
“Whenever a farmer uses the Ikofi wallet to make transactions such as purchasing inputs from a dealer, this makes them our client and it gives us a picture of their financial transactions, which we base on to offer loans and other benefits,” Karusisi said.
This means that the more the farmers use Ikofi wallet to transact, the more they stand chances of raising the loan and credit profile which the bank can assess depending on the consistency in the financial data recorded in the e-wallet.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the bank offered ten farmer cash rewards worth Rwf500,000 with one of the lucky farmers, Christine Nyirasafari, representing the first batch of winners.
Nyirasafari, a maize and irish potatoes farmer in Karaba cell, Karembo sector in Ngoma district, said that transacting using the Ikofi wallet has become part of her financial culture and now it has paid off.
“I make sure I purchase all farm inputs using Ikofi. For example this week I managed to spend Rwf100, 000 on seeds and fertilizers,” Nyirasafari said.
Since the farmers are not the only ones in the Ikofi family, the Bank of Kigali says that it will also be rewarding the outstanding agro dealers who use Ikofi to distribute agro inputs to farmers like Nyirasafari.
BK revealed that ten agro dealers will also receive up to Rwf100, 000 each, per month.
In the long plan, Bank of Kigali Ikofi product intends to reach over 2Million farmers countrywide considering the fact that agricultural financing is relatively at as low as 6% due to lack of trust by financial institutions.