The never-ending fight against mobile money fraud continues with MTN Rwanda now requiring customers to enter a USSD code to confirm they wish to take cash from their account. Since 23rd September customers have needed to dial *182*7*2# from their registered phone to authorize withdrawals.
Introducing the "allow cash out" MoMo service. Protect your money from fraudsters! This helps you manage all your withdrawal transactions. Withdrawing fees still apply. Simply dial *182*7*2##Twizamukire #BeWISE pic.twitter.com/ek7du0xWC5
— MTN Rwanda (@MTNRwanda) September 24, 2020
The change is motivated by a massive surge in the use of mobile money across Rwanda, partly because of fears that handling cash can cause the spread of coronavirus, and partly as a result of government policies that have eliminated fees for most mobile money transactions. A recent study on person-to-person (P2P) mobile money transfers by financial inclusion activists insight2impact for the Rwandan Utilities Regulatory Authority reported that…
…in the first week of January, the total value of funds sent via a P2P transfer was RWF 7.2 billion (US $7.6 million). In the last week of April, the value sent reached RWF 40 billion (over US $42 million) – an increase of over 450%.
The switch to cashless transactions has been so dramatic that BBC News recorded a short video about its impact on the country’s motorcycle taxis.
MTN is the largest mobile operator in Rwanda, with 60.9 percent of the market per the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority’s statistics for August 2020. The mobile penetration rate in Rwanda is 81.6 percent.