MTN Rwanda on Monday, March 23, said that, in partnership with several Government institutions, it is further encouraging sellers across the country to go cashless amidst COVID-19.
The move is in line with discouraging cash exchanges, as it increases the chances of transmission of this pandemic. This is so because the virus can stay on surfaces, including notes and coins, for hours, and can be transferred from one person to another when purchasing.
In a Twitter conversation with MTN users, Mitwa Kaemba Ng’ambi, the Chief Executive of the telecom company noted that: “There are currently efforts among Central Bank of Rwanda, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of ICT and Innovation to onboard sellers across Rwanda, starting with key markets.”
She also added that: “Having onboarded the markets, we’ll do the same with the value chains like suppliers of produce. We will also sensitize sellers and the entire ecosystem to the importance of going cashless, which will reduce the need for physical cash.”
MTN current cashless payments include MoMo Pay, which is free of charge both to the buyer and the seller.
Any seller who wants to register for this system goes to a nearby center with his or her business registration certificate, and MTN noted that it is soon initiating an online registration option as well.
Estimated statistics by MTN Rwanda show that over 10,000 sellers are registered in MoMo Pay.
Recently, the government cut-off charges of mobile money transfers for a three-month period. This also saw zero charges on push and pull services between bank accounts and mobile wallets.
However, cash withdrawals are still charged, which according to Ng’ambi is because “MTN is are encouraging the use of electronic money and minimising the use of physical cash in efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.”