Ericsson and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for Rwanda have signed an agreement for the launch of a national interoperability switch.
Based on the Ericsson M-Commerce Interconnect solution, the solution will enable financial and payments services providers in the country to connect to one common platform for seamless and real-time payment transactions.
Peter Heuman, VP and Head of M-Commerce for Ericsson, says: "Africa has been a main driver for innovative mobile financial services. Ericsson M-Commerce Interconnect advances existing efforts by seamlessly linking banks, mobile operators, money transfer organisations, and payment and financial services providers - making the promise of true financial inclusion achievable.”
This agreement supports the Government of Rwanda's objective to create a digital economy and drive greater financial and social inclusion for its society and citizens. Ericsson's Rwanda Interconnect Switch (RIS) will connect financial and payment services providers within the country and enable end-users to enjoy, in real time, a range of digital payments possibilities across all financial platforms and service providers. Further, the inclusion of informal sectors such as savings cooperatives and micro finance players in the ecosystem allow previously excluded citizens to participate in mainstream financial services, thereby increasing financial inclusion.
Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda: "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."
Ericsson M-Commerce Interconnect links Rwandan financial stakeholders to create a real-time, irrevocable financial transactions processing solution with 24/7 availability. Ericsson will also lead on-boarding and integration of Rwanda payment service providers and financial institutions. The Rwanda Interoperability Switch is expected to be operational by early 2017.
Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Region, Sub-Saharan Africa, Ericsson, says: "More inclusive mobile financial services solutions could directly impact the UN sustainable development goals by increasing economic growth and reducing inequality within and among countries. This deployment places Rwanda on track to becoming the first truly cashless society in Africa."