MasterCard, Rwanda Partnership Aims for Cashless Economy

MasterCard has teamed up with the Rwandan government to help the country move toward a cashless future. The partnership was laid out in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by MasterCard Middle East and Africa president Raghu Malhotra and Rwanda Development Board CEO (and Cabinet member) Francis Gatare.

MasterCard, Rwanda Partnership Aims for Cashless EconomyThe organizations will work together to digitize healthcare claim payments and school fees, and, related to those efforts, to develop an online payment system for Rwanda Online, the country’s online government services portal. MasterCard will also assist the Rwanda Development Board to develop a mobile banking platform.

In a statement announcing the partnership, Malhotra called Rwanda “a key market in East Africa” and said the agreement “marks an important milestone in driving financial inclusion”. Gatare, meanwhile, said his country’s goal is to develop “a knowledge based service-oriented economy,” a goal that “can only be achieved as we embrace the fourth industrial revolution.”

The partnership points to MasterCard’s growing commitment to the digital future of payments, with the company already starting to adapt to the digital revolution being wrought by disruptors like PayPal with its intensive explorations of biometric and mobile technologies. With its early adopter approach to mobile and digital payments, Rwanda offers the company an opportunity to explore these areas on a massive scale going forward.