Rwanda becomes the latest African country to reap from Visa’s strategy to expand cashless commerce across Africa.
It is hoped the electronic payment network will trigger the economic growth of the East African nation, minimise financial risks and enhance financial inclusion.
“A lot has been achieved in Rwanda in a year because of cooperation at all levels and common understanding of the benefits of moving to electronification,” Visa Group President, Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa Elizabeth Buse said in a statement.
The Charter of Collaboration, which is in accordance with Rwanda’s national objective to attain a middle-income economy by 2020, defines a set of programmes structured around three key areas identified as vital to the development of a full-fledged financial system in Rwanda.
The partnership has now been extended for three years.
Visa plans to generate 50 percent of its revenue from markets outside the US by 2015, with headway in Africa is viewed to be in alignment with the objective.
Towards this objective, Visa has partnered with local banks, businesses and local consumers as well as the government to push forward Rwanda’s electronic payment capability.
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning- Honorable John Rwangombwa, said: ''PPPs such as this are a stellar example of the positive impact when there is mutual understanding on how national needs can match commercial interest in a mutually constructive way.”
From a handful of ATMs in last year, all Rwandan ATMs are now on target to be connected to the Visa Network, with 80 percent either underway or completed.
eCommerce in Rwanda has recently witnessed significant progresses with giant Rwandan companies such as RwandAir acquiring the capability to accept online payments.
Currently, five banks offer a range of payment cards, including debit and credit cards to suit peoples’ varying needs, compared to December last year when only one bank issued Visa branded cards.