Bank of Kigali Plc has re-launched its IKOFI digital product alongside a partnership with RWACOF, a Rwandan-based coffee exporter working with more than 86,000 farmers to raise their farming methods.
The partnership will see 11,000 telephones distributed to small holder coffee farmers, facilitating them to use IKOFI wallet and boost their financial access through technology.
The financial digitalization access move is in line with the bank’s strategy and overall commitment to digitize agriculture while providing convenient services to farmers in their day to day operations.
“Through our partnership with RWACOF, Bank of Kigali will enable coffee farmers to embrace cashless means of payment because we believe in digital transformation for everybody including farmers. We are confident that the 11,000 telephones given to coffee farmers today will significantly improve their daily activities hence allowing them to adopt a more digital lifestyle,” noted Dr. Diane Karusisi Bank of Kigali’s Chief Executive Officer during her remarks.
Unlike other wallets, IKOFI opens up a pathway to the banking ecosystem, as the farmers get access to financial services digitally and in the near future, their credit application requirements will be processed.
Max Veglio, the Managing Director of RWACOF, appreciated BK’s efforts for opening up the doors for small holder coffee farmers to access financial services.
“We have realized, lack of access to technology as a key barrier to our growth as farmers, but BK’s initiative marks an important step in the journey, having accepted to scrap off the transfer charges during payments and ease the loan application requirements,” he observed.
In a bid to support farmers, the Bank has an already existing partnership with Smart Nkunganire System (SNS), through which farmers are enabled to easily pay for agro-inputs through IKOFI.
In the journey to digitise the coffee value chain, Bank of Kigali through Smart Kungahara System (SKS), a digital platform developed by BK Techouse in partnership with NAEB equips its stakeholders with the most indispensable tool to link all stakeholders involved in the value chain in Rwanda, thus enabling proper standardized data reporting.
On his part, Angelo Munezero, a representative from the Ministry of ICT and innovation commended BK’s initiative which is in line with the government’s ambitious plan to provide full financial access through technology to Rwandan citizens.
Bank of Kigali through IKOFI integration with Smart Kungahara System (SKS) is expected to serve more than 300 coffee washing stations, with a target market size of more than 400,000 coffee farmers, hence driving the use of cashless payment in the coffee sector, ultimately speeding up the financial inclusion journey in coffee value chain.
Currently, 1,767 agro dealers and 263,691 farmers are active IKOFI wallet users benefiting from the service by digitally paying for their agro-inputs through mobile phones, conveniently paying for other services such as Irembo, RRA, WASAC, all done through *334*2#.