Visa Inc. in partnership with the government, yesterday, announced a wide-reaching charter of collaboration to modernise the electronic banking system using global visa payments technology.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency.
Addressing reporters after the announcement of the joint venture, Central Bank Governor, Ambassador Claver Gatete, said that the collaboration between the government and Visa presented an opportunity to increase efficiency and inclusion through the use of electronic financial services.
“In all economies, well developed financial systems are essential for sustained economic growth,” the Governor added.
“This collaboration is aligned with the National Bank of Rwanda’s strategy to reduce the widespread usage of cash and increase liquidity within the banking system, which ultimately reduces interest rates and improves price stability.”
The government and Visa also agreed to develop localised solutions to extend access to financial services to local and international consumers throughout the country.
According to Elizabeth Buse, Group President, Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Visa Inc., creating public-private partnerships are key component of Visa’s global growth strategy.
“We are deploying our unique expertise and assets to bring the benefits of electronic payments and banking to emerging markets like Rwanda,” she said.
“By working with governments and stakeholders around the world to better understand the challenges of the underserved, we can adapt our approach to ensure that we are not only sharing our payments expertise, but are delivering meaningful local programmes that meet the needs of governments and their citizens. In the long-run, we believe this will also open up new growth opportunities for Visa.”
She pointed out that Rwanda was the right place for visa international to establish operations because of the stable economy and ICT infrastructural developments.
Gatete further said that the country’s process towards modernising payments system dates back to five to six years, when the central bank established the national switch that facilitates financial transaction using Automated Teller Machines (ATM) cards.
“We are encouraging all the banks to work with Visa and make sure that their ATMs accept the visa cards,” he advised.
“The use of visa cards internationally promotes trade among countries where tourists, investors and many others use them to withdraw money to purchase things they want wherever they are in any country across the globe.”
Joseph W. Saunders, Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc., said: “Visa believes that everyone has the right to have access to basic financial and payment services, and we are very pleased to be able to work with a government as committed to this vision as the Rwandan government.”
The charter covers 12 initiatives structured around three key areas such as laying the foundation for electronic payments, promotion of electronic payments innovation, and capacity building. Others are development of training programmes and facilitation of knowledge-transfer to ensure the long-term sustainability of financial systems throughout the country.