TransUnion launches Menyesha, an SMS and USSD-based credit scoring platform in Rwanda

TransUnion Africa, a provider of information solutions for assessing and managing risk, has launched Menyesha, a mobile credit reporting platform, to specifically cater to the Rwandan market. Menyesha, meaning “Inform Me” in Kinyarwanda, represents a leap forward in the way this historically underserved – but rapidly digitising – population can interact with lenders and other financial service providers.

Using SMS and USSD-based technologies to navigate around relatively poor rates of smartphone penetration in the country, Menyesha offers consumers the ability to check their credit score in real time and better understand their credit status, as well as the ability to clear negative credit statuses on a user-friendly interface.

TransUnion will offer this service through telecommunication companies, starting with MTN, Rwanda’s biggest network provider, to ensure a seamless digital experience without the need for a smartphone.

“Menyesha addresses the main issues standing in the way of Rwandans who want to make use of digital services
to improve their credit health,” said Aimable Nkuranga, Country Manager at TransUnion. “As one of Sub-Saharan
Africa’s most digitally forward countries, Rwanda has much to gain by using financial technologies like Menyesha
to leapfrog traditional banking systems previously characterised by high exclusion, delivering financial services
conveniently and affordably to all levels of society.”

The app serves as a convenient meeting place for consumers and lenders, to the benefit of both. Lenders are able
to open their product offering to more consumers, who would otherwise struggle to utilise credit due to negative
credit profile or a lack of credit history. At the same time, improving access to financial services allows Rwandan
families to better control their financial health and invest in their futures through various projects.

“Access to credit enables small businesses to expand, creating employment opportunities, reducing inequality and
providing much-needed stimulation for the Rwandan economy at large,” continued Nkuranga.

In addition to better understanding their credit situations, Menyesha enables consumers to know the amount of
debt outstanding at any particular time. Menyesha can support transactions to various lenders and financial
institutions directly, immediately, and using only their mobile devices. Payments related to Menyesha will be
completed via mobile money.

The range of functionality that Menyesha offers allows a faster and much more efficient way for consumers to
become credit ready in preparation for loan applications, clearing their debts and obtaining vital credit clearance
certificates through a single digital solution.

With less than 30% of Rwanda’s population possessing formal bank accounts, Menyesha is just the solution
needed to reach the credit-shy “thin-file” segment, as well as those vast sections of the country’s population who
live in rural areas without access to brick-and- mortar banking and financial services facilities.

TransUnion has a global presence in more than 30 countries and a leading presence in several international markets across North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

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