New payment solutions to reduce traders' woes

Equity Bank customers, especially the business community, could soon find it easier to pay for goods and services procured abroad or locally after the lender announced plans to introduce American Express cards in Rwanda.
Andrew Stewart, the Partner Card Services Turkey, Middle East and Africa vice-president (left), shares a light moment with Equity Bank Group chief executive officer, James Mwangi, after signing the agreement in Kenya this week. (Net photo)
Andrew Stewart, the Partner Card Services Turkey, Middle East and Africa vice-president (left), shares a light moment with Equity Bank Group chief executive officer, James Mwangi, after signing the agreement in Kenya this week. (Net photo)

Equity Bank customers, especially the business community, could soon find it easier to pay for goods and services procured abroad or locally after the lender announced plans to introduce American Express cards in Rwanda. 

This follows the launch of the first American Express Cards in Kenya this week.

American Express is a global company that provides payment solutions.

“By launching in Rwanda in the coming weeks, Equity Bank customers will be able to access other leading global payment systems that will help them carry-out banking and other business transactions from across the globe,” Alfred N’gan’ga, the Equity Bank communications manager, told The New Times yesterday.

Customers will also be able to enjoy a range of benefits that will make their lives easier, N’gan’ga said.

Rwanda’s electronic payment systems have expanded in the past few years as the country moves to a cashless economy.

Most of the banks have introduced international payment cards overtime, including MasterCard, Visa, China Union Pay, Dinners Club and Japanese Credit Bureau, which have made them more competitive.

Figures from the National Bank of Rwanda indicate that the number of credit cards increased by 32 per cent from 1,179 to 1,561 during the first half of the year.

Despite the significant development registered in card-based payments in the last two years, the number of cards is still low to boost the usage of electronic payments.

Meanwhile, James Mwangi, the Equity Bank Group chief executive officer, said their association with American Express is part of the bank’s mission to deliver the best card solutions.

“This partnership is in line with our business strategy of becoming a one-stop international payment gateway, which will give customers and our partners the freedom of modern banking in today’s fast-paced world,” Mwangi told Kenyan media during the launch of the facility.

He said the new solution would serve the bank’s over nine million customers in the region.

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