RWANDA – Equity Bank Rwanda and RSwitch, Rwanda’s national e-payment switch, have teamed up to introduce the eKash payments platform, aiming to transform Rwanda’s financial landscape.

Launched on June 26, eKash enables instant money transfers among local banks, mobile money operators, microfinance institutions (MFIs), SACCOs, and fintech companies.

RSwitch originally launched eKash in 2021 as Rwanda’s National Digital Payment System, emphasizing its interoperability.

This allows seamless fund transfers across different financial services, supporting Rwanda’s shift towards a cashless economy and enhancing financial inclusion.

Hannington Namara, Managing Director of Equity Bank Rwanda, highlighted the platform’s benefits: “eKash expands our digital services, promoting a cashless economy and improving financial inclusion.”

Users can now transfer up to 10 million Rwandan francs from banks to mobile wallets, a substantial increase from the previous limit of two million. 

Transaction fees vary based on the amount sent, with standard rates for bank-to-bank transactions and adjusted fees for bank-to-wallet transfers.

Blaise Pascal Gasabira, Chief Executive Officer of RSwitch, said they are excited to have Equity on board. Equity Bank is among the largest banks on the market and has a large retail customer base.

He noted that eKcash primarily handles retail low-value transactions. It’s a digital public infrastructure designed to ensure seamless, instant transactions. With this shared infrastructure, financial institutions can focus on market innovation.

With this approach, we expect innovation to be more cost-effective, leading to lower transaction costs and significantly impacting our economy,” he said.

He noted that all commercial banks and mobile money operators are now fully interoperable for Person-to-person (P2P) transactions and plans to introduce other use cases soon. These new services will include P2B, person-to-government (P2G), and government-to-person (G2P) transactions.

Equity Bank Rwanda, which has operated since 2011 and has a network of 46 branches and over 1.3 million customers, will integrate eKash across its platforms, including mobile apps and internet banking.

RSwitch, established in 2003, manages Rwanda’s e-payment switch and adheres to rigorous security standards like PCI DSS and PTS certifications.

The launch of eKash marks a significant step towards a more digital economy in Rwanda, promising greater convenience, reduced costs, and broader financial access.

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