The central bank is set to start implementing a new system—Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS)—which allows transfer of money from one bank to another on real time and on individual basis.
The system is part of the government’s payment modernisation programme under the Rwanda Integrated Payments Processing System (RIPPS) geared towards making payment systems efficient and reliable.
Francois Kanimba, the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), said it is also part of the integration of payment systems within the East African Community being conducted through a project implemented by the five central banks.
“The RTGS are operational in three countries - Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania - and Rwanda is launching RTGS in a couple of weeks. What is remaining is establishing a regional clearing platform for the integration of RTGS being implemented in these different countries,” he told Business Times on Monday.
Last year, the central bank signed a contract with CMA Small Systems AB of Sweden to implement the programme.
The Governor said a committee has been set up to spearhead the process of integrating different payment systems.
“We do expect establishing the regional clearing system this year,” he said.
According to Kanimba, it will also facilitate the development of capital markets, following the launch of Rwanda Stock Exchange on Monday.
“If an investor in Kenya wants to buy stocks from a seller who is a client of a commercial bank in Rwanda, the Kenyan investor will be able buy shares and transfer money through the RTGS to the account in Kigali in one second,” he said, indicating that the process will now take approximately 24 hours.
The Governor said the cost of investment in the project in Rwanda stands at $2 million.
The project, funded by the World Bank through the Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project (CEDP), will see the usage of cheques also reduced to minimal levels.