Rwanda sets mobile phone payment guidelines

The Central Bank has set guidelines for mobile phone payment systems that will cater for safety, integrity, efficiency and reliability according to a notice on its website. With the aim of promoting safety and effectiveness of mobile payment schemes, the National Bank of Rwanda is carrying out research to ensure that the company’s infrastructure is strongly protected and secured. Currently it is only MTN Rwandacell that is licensed for mobile payments.

The Central Bank has set guidelines for mobile phone payment systems that will cater for safety, integrity, efficiency and reliability according to a notice on its website.

With the aim of promoting safety and effectiveness of mobile payment schemes, the National Bank of Rwanda is carrying out research to ensure that the company’s infrastructure is strongly protected and secured. Currently it is only MTN Rwandacell that is licensed for mobile payments.

Information from NBR indicates that currently the MTN Mobile Money operates in local currency only. However if the company needs to extend transactions across the board, the NBR would not restrict them to local currency.

Under mobile payment system, account holders use two separate account systems; the electronic one running under the mobile money company system that should be interoperate among telecom institutions, while the banking account authorises the one ‘Trust Account’ for the operator.

According to the Central Bank, guidelines contained in the law stipulate that it is already approved, as ‘regulation n° 002/2010 of the national bank of Rwanda governing payment services providers’.

“An efficient and smooth operating payment system is a necessary precondition for business development and economic growth”, a note dubbed national payment system framework and strategy’ reads in part.
Other security measures to prevent criminal activity are also described in the regulations.

In line with efficient and smooth operations of the national payment system, BNR and stakeholders continue to work on the payment system modernization program to ensure that payment systems are efficient and reliable.

Recently, the Central Bank signed a contract with CMA small systems to implement the Rwanda Integrated Payments Processing System (RIPPS), which encompasses the Automated Clearing House (ACH), the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and the Central Securities Depository (CSD); all three running on the same platform.

According the Monetary Policy statement, the implementation is in advanced stages and is expected to be launched by end of December this year.

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