Technical hitch in banks block salaries, derail govt services

Monday November 01 2021
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Customers inside Bank of Kigali's banking Hall. Some banks have been experiencing technology hitches. PHOTO | FILE

By Ange Iliza

Technical hitches linked to system instabilities following core banking system upgrade at Bank of Kigali has brought key government service to a standstill, with business and clients suffering costs of delays or not making transactions.

For more than two weeks, users have had to contend with difficulties in transacting digitally across a wide range of government services tied to the bank systems such as paying bills, tax declaration and payment of utilities.

In particular, the glitches affected users of Irembo, the one-stop platform for over 98 government and immigration services with over eight million subscribers.

nformation obtained by Rwanda Today indicate that the bank had notified its clients and agents about the suspension all the services except ATMs for three days from midnight October 15 to October 17 as it sorted out “instabilities in the recently concluded core banking system upgrade.” The services, however, remained disrupted until the time of going to press with sources indicating that it was taking time to stabilise the system with workers yet to familiarise themselves with the changes in light of requests from customers that have piled.

“Apparently staff are yet to be familiar with the new system and it took more time to do tests. This has seen transfer requests and general queries from clients’ pile. With the bank receiving a lot of salary transfer orders around this time of the month, it is and still will have effects on so many people,” a source privy to goings on in the bank told Rwanda Today.

A human resource manager with a Kigali-based company said payroll submitted to the bank on October 19 had not been processed until October 27, and would wait for unspecified time for transfer to take place.


“Usually such inter-bank transactions by institutions or individuals are completed within the same day when they are processed before 2pm. Those depositing cheques are being told to wait for a month,” he said.

Also told to wait are owners of agent outlets or individual clients whose transactions returned error messages despite deductions in their accounts. “I went to the BK branch in Nyabugogo to seek help, and was told to wait for two weeks for the deducted money to reflect back into the accounts,” said Shakira Umutoniwase whose transaction with a BK agent failed.