The country’s mobile payment systems have received a boost through the launch of Rwanda Interoperability Solution (RIS), a switch based on Ericsson’s M-Commerce Interconnect solution.
The solution is likely to connect financial and payment services providers thus enabling end-user to enjoy, in real time, a range of digital payments possibilities across all financial platforms.
Ambassador Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and economic planning during the signing, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete spoke on the importance of digitizing the financial economy in an increasingly globalized world.
He said, “Mobile payment technology has the potential to advance financial inclusion and help people build savings while giving government, as well as the private sector a more cost-effective, efficient, transparent, and safer means of disbursing and collecting payments. We are happy to be partnering Ericsson on this.”
The seven year agreement will support Rwanda’s vision to create a digital economy and drive greater financial and social inclusion for its society and citizens through the integration of informal sectors such as savings cooperatives and micro finance players in the ecosystem.
The government since 2011 has invested in a national payment system that of electronic transactions in the financial sector but this minister says only provided a solution in the short term.
“Initially it was a solution but at the same time it’s like moving lines from the banking systems to ATM because we didn’t have what they call interoperability,” the Minister added.
Peter Heuman, Vice President and Head of M-Commerce for Ericsson said; “Africa has been a main driver for innovative mobile financial services. This latest agreement represents another step in Ericsson’s commitment to building the necessary global infrastructure for a new open digital economy.
“The work we are doing with the Government and people of Rwanda on this initiative is imperative for the country and region and we look forward to continued collaboration with countries throughout Africa and globally to build upon these important efforts.”
As Rwanda aims to become Africa’s first truly digital economy, clear financial and payment services policies to create a neutral, interoperable and viable market place have been enacted setting the ground for partnerships such as the Ericsson M-Commerce Interconnect to provide seamless financial services.
The government says that the Rwanda Interoperability Switch is expected to be operational by early 2017