Rwandan telecom sector steps up revenues with cross-border payments

MTN Rwanda is partnering with MTN Uganda to allow cross-border mobile payments in a bid to stay on top of Rwanda’s competitive telecoms sector.

The sector registered a decline in tariffs that went down by 25% year on year by December 2013 leading to lower revenues overall. Earlier this year, Tigo Rwanda partnered with its sister company Tigo Tanzania to offer a cross border mobile money service called Tigo cash.

MTN Rwanda and MTN Uganda are now making a similar move, meaning that subscribers from both platforms will be able to send each other money without switching phone simcards.

“We are working with MTN Uganda to harmonise our platforms so that our subscribers can send money to MTN Uganda subscribers,” said Arthur Rutagengwa, head of Mobile Money at MTN.

MTN has more than 3.55 million subscribers as of December 31, 2013 with over Rwf 90 billion in transactions on its mobile money platform, giving it another shield from the growing competition from its rivals Tigo and Airtel. Mobile money in general is becoming more popular in East Africa, and cross-border mobile money is looking like it will take over from other forms of money transfer in the near future.

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