PUBLISHED ON December 8th, 2014

Rwanda connects to speedy regional payments system

KIGALI, Rwanda – Rwanda became the fourth country in the region to go live on the East African Payments System (EAPS) which the government believes is going to ease and speed up doing business for Rwandans in the region.

This system comes as a means of reducing dependence on hard currencies and the cost associated with foreign exchange transaction,” the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) John Rwangombwa (picture below) said last week during a press briefing in Kigali.

“It is aimed at increasing efficiency and facilitate cross border transaction that is essential for boosting intra-regional trade among East African Countries,” Rwangombwa said.

EAPS is a Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) in the region and a multicurrency system in which payments are carried out using any currency of the EAC partner states. It is part of the EAC Payment modernization efforts spearheaded by EAC Central Bank Governors to enhance cross border payments across the EAC region.

Rwangombwa said this is going to reduce on exchange losses involved in transactions plus it is an easy way of payment since it involves use of SWIFT infrastructure.

“This is aimed at speeding up doing business in the EAC region,” Rwangombwa said.

He called on the public to make use of this cross border payment system to be able to benefit from the immense attributes including safety and efficiency to boost regional trade and intra-regional payments

During the same meeting, the Governor announced issuance of two new different notes of the 2000 and 5000 denominations which will be done as soon as the presidential decree is officially gazetted.

This followed Cabinet’s approval of the November 12, 2014 which approved the presidential order to issue the new banknotes.

“These are actually not new noted since we just changed few features on them and they will be working hand in hand with the existing ones,” Rwangombwa said.

He explained the reason behind the new issuance saying this is a routine replenishment of the stock of banknotes by BNR.

“The security features on the new banknotes will be strengthened to reduce counterfeits, but the designs of the two banknotes will remain unchanged,” Rwangombwa said.

“The new notes will not have the French language on them but are very user friendly for everyone,” Rwangombwa said.

Rwanda last made new banknotes in 1995.

Rwanda plans to have an inflation that will not exceed 3% by end this year with a forecast of next year that will not be very far from the same level, which is because of what is happening on the global economy.

The country expects inflation to continue to be below 5%.

Source: East African Business Week

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