The Bank of Kigali Plc together in partnership with a Rwandan based coffee exporter RWACOF, has re-launched its IKOFI digital finance services provider.
The partnered project has the aim to issue out 11,000 telephones to small holder coffee farmers, that will enable them to use the IKOFI wallet and take advantage of technology by upgrading their financial access capacity.
IKOFI provides a pathway to the banking ecosystem and so farmers will get access to financial services digitally and in future, their credit application requirements will be processed.
The Managing Director of RWACOF, Max Veglio, supported and valued the bank’s initiatives of providing small holder coffee farmers with access to financial services, and also highlighted how lack of access to technology has hindered farmers’ growth.
“We have realized, lack of access to technology as a key barrier to our growth as farmers, but the Bank of Kigali’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 stated.
The bank has a current partnership with Smart Nkunganire System (SNS) through which farmers will be able to easily pay for agro-inputs through IKOFI, and through the Smart Kungahara System (SKS), a digital platform that provides its stakeholders with an indispensable tool to connect all stakeholders involved in the value chain in Rwanda, proper standardized data reporting is provided.
The digitalization of financial services is part of the bank’s vision to provide efficient and convenient services to farmers in their business procedures, and on the other hand also digitalizing the agriculture sector.
It is stated that 1,767 agro dealers and 263,691 farmers are currently active on the IKOFI wallet and also benefiting from the digital services.
The Bank of Kigali through IKOFI incorporation with SKS is estimated to provide services to more than 300 coffee washing stations with a target market size of more than 400,000 coffee farmers therefore making transactions in the coffee sector a lot faster and convenient.