Rwanda: Cashless economy push boosted as new e-payment platform is launched

Plans to achieve a cashless economy and financial inclusion in Rwanda could be boosted further, thanks to the launch of a new electronic payment system.

The AuraSoft RIHA mobile wallet, an electronic payment platform, will boost Rwanda’s drive to become a cashless economy, according to Alain Ndayishimiye, the AuraSoft chief executive officer.

“We are leveraging the power of innovation and technology to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of transactions in real time through seamless payment solutions,” Ndayishimiye said.

This e-payment facility uses Bluetooth, tap and pay, near field communication, as well as point of sale merchants, he added at the launch of the facility on Monday. he said the firm would work with the already existing players to further deepen the cashless economy and financial inclusion.

Innovative merchant payment solutions are “a right step that will help Rwanda push to realise its goal of a cashless economy and ensure all Rwandans have access to financial services. “Therefore the launch of such products comes at a time when the government is encouraging the financial sector players and ordinary Rwandans to embrace electronic platforms, not only for their efficiency and safety when carrying out business transactions, but also because digital financial services have proven to spur economic growth through widening tax base and employment while promoting cashless economy,” said Patrick Mbarushimana.

Rwanda aims at becoming a financial and digital hub by the year 2020 where all citizens will be financially included.

According to the Finscope report released last year, formal inclusion was at 68 per cent of which mobile money added to 23 per cent.

According to the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), paper money is still dominant in the Rwandan economy due to a cash-based culture, which is hindering efforts to embrace e-payment solutions.

In addition, the number of touch points in terms of point of sale, agents and merchants are still limited.

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