Is Cashless Trading Becoming Rwanda’s Next Financial Revolution?

JUST a few years back in Kigali, seeing a Visa or Master card in one’s wallet was a luxury. Every time I heard of money transfer options, I only heard the one global powerhouse, and that’s none other than Western Union.

Today, technology has made trading much faster and very convenient than ever before. Mobile Money technologies have served to be the primary tools for mainstream personal payment platforms amongst Rwandans of all stages.

Today, one doesn’t have to carry bags full of cash to settle a particular trade, nor carry bank checks which sometime could be damaged or stolen prior to proper delivery. Billions of francs are electronically exchanging hands amongst Rwandan traders, from farmers to small or medium businesses; not to mention settling dues with the ultimate Rwanda Revenue.

Now that likes of MTN Mobile Money, Tigo Cash or Airtel Money have become typical Rwandans’ second nature, how about we take this electronic culture to the next level? I vote for a Visa Card for every one of us.

Could this be the next Rwandans’ go-to national and international transactions facilitator moving forward? And if yes—and I am hoping it is—what good is in it for all of us consumers?


Electronic payment, being one of the choices of how to be paid, makes transacting more convenient for consumers and merchants. Consumers waste less time going to the bank, counting cash and fumbling for exact change at the point of sale.


A lost or stolen card is replaceable—lost or stolen cash is not. This is as simple and as safe as they come.

Macroeconomic Value-Added of Payments

It has long been clear that electronic transactions offer benefits to consumers and businesses. This mode of payments also promotes financial inclusion, institutional trust and capital accumulation for the overall national economy.

ALTHOUGH nothing intends to completely replace the traditional use of cash, money and payment technologies continue to evolve. I think, during this evolution, the underlying electronic payment system is critical to facilitate transactions therefore enhance our new digital economy.

Keep up with the good work, those of you helping us embrace this greater alternative.

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