Rwanda: Innovate or Perish, Veteran Banker Advises Banks

Banks have no choice but to consistently innovate, take efficient services to the people and use technology to cut costs so as to stay in business, former Barclays Bank chief, Bob Diamond, has said.

“Investing in technology and taking full advantage of innovation will not only boost the banking sector but also the economic development of the country. Innovation and technology must be at the forefront of any bank,” Diamond said.

The co-founder of Atlas Mara, was in the country to sign a memorandum of understanding that will see his company acquire 75 percent of government shares in the Development Bank of Rwanda.

Eric Rwigamba, the director general financial sector development at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said that innovating not only increases volumes and the value of transactions, but also plays a critical role in resource mobilisation and profitability.

“The more financial resources the more credit to small and medium enterprises and the faster the economic development,” Rwigamba said.

Experts say that global trends in business transactions are moving away from the use of cash to a cashless economy, which requires banks to invest more in electronic means of payment.

The number of ATMs in the country’s banking industry increased by 14 percent to 333 last year. This has enabled volumes and the value of transactions to go up by 35 and 44 percent respectively.

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