Less than 35 percent Rwandans have confidence that using smart products and services is a convenient way to transact their activities, says a study by a local consumer rights campaign group.
The study conducted an opinion survey trying to determine the level of awareness on mobile internet, phone (Mobile) money transfer, Mobile banking, ATM cards, Irembo services, E-Payment, E-banking and EBM, an invoicing system that enables the tax body to calculate taxes.
Irembo is a government platform where ordinary Rwandans can access services like documents without going to offices.
The findings were presented March 15 at an event marking World Consumer Rights Day held at the Huye campus of the University of Rwanda (UR).
The study was carried out by Dr Johnson Bosco Rukundo, lecturer in the school of economics in collaboration with Rwanda Consumer’s Rights Protection Organization (ADECOR).
The researchers polled 20 randomly selected respondents in each of the districts of Musanze, Rusizi, Huye, Rubavu and the City of Kigali. All these have major urban areas where smart products are expected to be widely used.
98% of the respondents were found to be aware of the existence of the different smart services asked of them.
The respondents cited many advantages of using smart services such as quick nature of transactions and accessibility in many parts – but not everywhere.
However, more than 65% claim smart products are “NOT trustworthy” as result of various challenges they encounter, said Dr Rukundo, with an emphasis capitalising the ‘not’ in his power-point presentation.
Among the challenges, the respondents said there are high operation charges and unreliable networks, and that it was difficult to retrieve deviated funds – which in practice can take days.
The study also says though the smart services have reduced queues inside banks, the queues have instead moved to ATMs.