The cashless economy in Rwanda is expanding so much that by the simple touch of a button, tax collection and declaration can now be done using cashless option provider, MobiCash.
According to the World Bank in Rwanda, less than 50 per cent of the population is banked in the formal financial sector, however the report also states that financial inclusion is being increased by mobile money services in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The vision for MobiCash was to include the unbanked – there are about 87 per cent of Rwandans who do not have access to normal financial services, (as) it is costly and it is not convenient,” said Sheik Mia, MobiCash Rwanda, project manager.
The service was in its test phase since June this year and launched this week, introducing the convenience of the service to Rwandans
“Like any new technology that happens, people are sceptical and hesitant,” said Mia.
The need came about because people were struggling to pay tax because of transport; the convenience of the service now allows Rwandans to do it remotely.
“One of the barriers they are facing in tax collection is the cost of the average taxpayer to spend time, money and effort to pay his tax will sometimes cost him more than what is actually owed
During the test phase, it was able to collect money conveniently and remit to RRA (Rwanda Revenue Authority), where the taxing firm then promised to advocate that MobiCash is a reliable service.
Mia added that the service will not only be for the RRA but that other government institutions could use it too as a platform for collection and remittances safely.
“We are offering accessibility banking services that’s affordable and convenient, secondly for government revenues and public institutions… avenues to collect that – not far from here as you know the immigration department can afford to collect money through MobiCash and send it to RRA without having to go to the banks,” said Mia.
The system uses biometric technology to ensure the security of the funds.
“Fingerprint recognition biometric in MobiCash technology is used for people who receive money, because there has been a lot of rumours, fraud and irregularities, we want to insure biometric identification would guarantee the recipients get the money.”