Rwanda makes cashless push with Better Than Cash Alliance

The Government of Rwanda has moved to accelerate its plans to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy and achieve 80 per cent financial inclusion by 2017.

Rwanda already pays all government employees electronically but ultimately intends to transition to a cashless society to bring citizens to the formal economy and increase their financial security.

The further digitization of Rwanda’s economy is expected to contribute to achieving the government’s financial inclusion goals. Rwanda also aims to expand the use of banking and retail transactions electronically, including in fuel stations, by merchants and customers across the country.

The Better Than Cash Alliance, set up in 2012 by a group of development organisations, foundations and private companies Citi, Visa and The Gates Foundation, will aid Rwanda in this shift by providing key policy, technical and financial assistance.

“Today the Government conducts its business electronically, including paying salaries,” said Claver Gatete, the Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. “We have put in place policies that encourage payment digitization and continue to support the private sector, especially financial institutions to embrace the use of ICT to champion financial inclusion. We believe that partnering with the Better Than Cash Alliance will further our ambition to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy and ensure that every Rwandan is financially included.”

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