Digital payments create a compelling value proposition that will significantly contribute to the growth of African economies. They make payments efficient, faster and more transparent.
In the Vision 2020, Rwanda set out to become a knowledge-based economy. Further, in the EDPRS plans that set specific targets to have at least 90% of Rwandan adults with access to formal financial services by 2017 (up from 47% in 2012) and an inclusive and cashlite economy.
In the last 3 years the Government of Rwanda in partnership with financial institutions have worked to build a strong foundation for electronic payments resulting in the country now being part of global interoperable payment systems.
Mobile money services are growing financial inclusion and electronic payments swiftly as evidenced by the number of users and the total volumes in mobile transactions. As a result more Rwandans are financially included. Additionally, POSs have grown from 40 in 2012 to over 1,000 today adding to the increase in electronic payments steadily. There are over 4.5 millions mobile payments subscribers ; over 13,000 mobile money agents ; over 500 bank branches + over 1000 bank agents and over 350 ATMs that giving more Rwandans have more access to places to digitize and access their monies. In 2013, Rwanda became the first country in the world to achieve interoperable mobile payments with the launch of mVISA – the world’s first mobile interoperable mobile payments platform that allows banks to reach underserved and unbanked populations.
Despite all these achievements, cash transactions continue to dominate the economy. The increased access points of agents, ATMs and branches, while increasing the places to digitize cash are also increasing more cash in our economy hence retarding the country’s cashlite goals ; placing a huge burden on our treasury and on our Central bank to continue printing cash, which is very expensive.
With a great foundation laid we have the achievable task to bring more Rwandans into the formal financial sector and fast track our economic transformation/development by growing digital payments. This session will discuss the challenges hindering the adoption and growth of digital payments ; the opportunities we have and specific initiatives that can be undertaken to achieve a digitized economy to make Rwanda SMART.
Moderator : Gavin Krugel, Vice President for emerging market Digital – CEMEA, Visa Inc.
• Pitchette Kampeta Sayinzoga, Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Rep. of Rwanda
• Nick Meakin, Director, Urwego Opportunity Bank, Rwanda
• Ebenezer Asante, CEO, MTN Rwanda
• Yan Kwizera, Country Manager, Kaymu Ltd