Rwandans will use the recently issued national identity (ID) cards to access banking services.
Simtel, the company which operates Rwanda’s payment system, has announced that the same ID cards will be used for shopping as well.
Rogers Munyampeda, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Simtel said that the use of the national cards for payment could start next year.
The bearer when purchasing, will present the national ID card to the trader who captures data from it using a cell phone.
The data will then be sent to Simtel for verification.
Simtel confirms available balance with the bank and instructs it (bank) to transfer funds to merchant and then confirmation is returned to Smitel.
This project is also largely owned by African Development Cooperation (ADC), a German group, with 70 per cent stake.
Munyampenda said that the use of national ID cards will reduce counterfeit money in circulation since there will be less cash transactions.
The CEO also said the ID cards would reduce the digital divide as simple information technology will be introduced in rural areas.