Move to help those without access to formal financial services

Friday October 31 2014

By Monitor Correspondent

Kampala- The Government of Rwanda has moved to accelerate its plans to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy and achieve 80 percent financial inclusion by 2017.

The country’s commitment to using information and communications technology (ICT) for financial services was made on Wednesday as it officially joined the ‘Better Than Cash Alliance’, an initiative that works with governments, the development community, and the private sector to adopt the use of electronic payments.
The alliance provides support to those who commit to make the transition.
This is aimed to help people who do not have access to formal financial services and frequently have no option but to subsist almost entirely in an informal, cash-only economy.

“We understand the crucial role ICT plays in all sectors of the economy, including finance. This is why we have endeavoured to promote a cashless economy by digitizing financial transactions,” Mr Claver Gatete, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said.

He added: “Today the government conducts its business electronically, including paying salaries. We believe that partnering with the ‘Better Than Cash Alliance’ will further our ambition to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy and ensure that every Rwandan is financially included.”

The shift to electronic payments has the potential to advance financial inclusion and help people build savings.

For example, a recent report by the World Bank examines growing evidence that integrating digital payments into the economies of emerging and developing nations addresses crucial issues of broad economic growth and individual financial empowerment.