The use of digital finance is making considerable steps forward in Rwanda, and online transactions have been encouraged which has significantly contributed to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking during the celebration of the World Consumer Rights Day 2022, on Tuesday March 15, Beatrice Uwumukiza, Director General of Rwanda Inspectorate, Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (RICA), said: “Over the past two years, we have seen the use of digital finance rising considerably. Today it is a good opportunity for us sector stakeholders, specifically regulatory authorities to reflect on whether our current regulations are really working, and see what we can improve in order to keep the consumer rights at the heart of our work”.
The one-day event was organized by RICA in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), National Bank of Rwanda (NBR), Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), and Rwanda Consumer Protection Organization (ADECOR), under the theme ‘Fair Digital Finance’
Uwumukiza said that there are still existing challenges amid the shift to digital systems that need to be addressed by regulatory authorities including: strong network availability, cyber security crimes, and e-commerce risks, among others.
She called on fellow consumer protection stakeholders to revise digital finance practices and fill those persisting gaps, to ensure customer protection.
“This is an occasion for us to reflect on what we have learnt from that period and help us know the consumer experience in the digital world. We are committed to have a well sustained consumer protection,” she added.
According to Damien Ndizeye, Executive Secretary of the Rwanda Consumers’ Rights Protection Organization (ADECOR), Digital finance requires knowledge which means consumers need to be educated.
“There is a need to educate he consumer about digital finance services features. They have to be aware of the new features at markets. I call on consumers to know their rights,” he said.
The National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) in its priority area, provides that by 2024, 100% of government services will be delivered online.