RSwitch, the national e-payments company that also produces local ATM Smartcash debit cards used to pay at (Point of Sale) POS and withdraw money from ATM, has reassured that Rwanda’s target to become a cashless economy by 2020 will be a reality. RSwitch says it is already complementing efforts by government by ensuring bank account holders find it easy to use payment cards and avoid the risk of carrying cash.
In an exclusive interview with IGIHE, the Chief Executive Officer of RSwitch, Jean Claude Gaga said, “Our objective is to help Rwandans make electronic transfers and payments easily using SmartCash cards among other payment instruments. These are used on all POS machines to pay for products and services across the whole country. It is very safe and easy to carry a card instead of cash.”
Mr. Gaga explained that RSwitch makes the most affordable debit cards which are issued by banks to customers. The Smartcash cards facilitate a smooth experience for the card holders while making payments for merchandise.
A person with a Smartcash card can use it for payments of any good or service at merchant outlets with POS. As part of their mandate to interconnect electronic accounts for banks and mobile money operators, he also explained that late last year RSwitch launched an interoperable solution known as eHuriro which facilitates money transfers between Mobile Money services offered by Tigo and Airtel as well as banks and Microfinance institutions.
Mr. Gaga appealed to all Rwandans to actively embrace developments in ICT as the sure way to improve livelihoods for individuals and service delivery for service providers. “Electronic means automatically remove a big percentage of risks associated with payments and saves you a lot of time” added the chief executive.
“With a Smartcash card for instance, you can pay for anything anywhere you are in Rwanda. However, paying with cash requires one to travel to their depositor physically, sometimes line up for a couple of hours then after withdrawing the money, you travel back to make a payment. The cost of motorbikes or other quicker means will eat into your savings. People need to think twice about the time spent in carrying out transactions in such a manner. Cut the time and cost by using your Smartcash or mobile to pay,” he advised.
Since its inception in 2003 RSwitch is doing more than producing Smartcash cards.
The company clears and settles transactions on behalf of banks and MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) and offers maintenance and monitoring services for bank ATMs and POS.
With the government push for a cashless economy, RSwitch believes Rwanda will write history by achieving full financial inclusion by 2020. According to this year’s financial scope survey, 89% of Rwandan adults are financially included. Mr. Gaga reminded all Smartcash users that paying using the card at any Point Of Sale is free of charge.