Rwanda’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning signed an agreement for the launch of a national interoperability switch with Ericsson Group.
According to reports, 42 per cent of adults in Rwanda own a financial account, whether formal or informal while the rest of the sub-Saharan Africa region is estimated to be at 16 per cent.
Fredrik Jedjling, President and Regional Head of Sub- Saharan Africa, Ericsson told CNBC Africa that the move would help improve the country’s drive towards financial inclusion.
“We have had a long relationship working with the government of Rwanda and we have just announced the inter-connect switch which will be a seamless transaction platform,” he said.
Jedjling added that the move will integrate the mobile money world with actors such as MasterCard, Airtel, MTN and visa expected to use the platform in the future. The move is also set to see the cost of transactions coming down.
Meanwhile, All Africa reported that MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth has committed up to one million US dollars over the next three years to advance economic growth and financial inclusion in Rwanda.
“This platform will also see the realisation of more volume of transaction as individuals will be able to transact with each other and this will also decrease the number of integrations,” he added.
Ericsson, in a statement said, 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.
“This agreement represents another step in Ericsson’s commitment to building the necessary global infrastructure for a new open digital economy.”
Peter Heuman, Vice President and Head of M-Commerce for Ericsson, said 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,” he said.
“The work we are doing with the Government and people of Rwanda on this initiative are 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.”