Home Technology Rwanda Government and Ericsson collaborate on financial inclusion

Rwanda Government and Ericsson collaborate on financial inclusion

by Tullah Stephen

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for Rwanda and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) signs 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. This agreement represents another step in Ericsson’s commitment to building the necessary global infrastructure for a new open digital economy.

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 organizations, and payment and financial services providers, making the promise of true financial inclusion achievable. 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. ”

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 Interoperability Switch (RIS) will connect financial and payment services providers within the country and enable end-user 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, Honorable 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. We are happy to be partnering with Ericsson on this.”

Ericsson M-Commerce Interconnect links Rwandan financial stakeholders to create a real-time, irrevocable financial transactions processing solution with 24 hour 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 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 partnership is a great testimonial to how collaboration between the public and private sector can transform the financial sector for the better. This deployment places Rwanda on track to becoming the first truly cashless society in Africa and we are very pleased to be part of making history on the continent.”

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