MasterCard-Powered Irembo Launched in Rwanda to Fast-Track Online Payments


Mastercard, Bank of Kigali and RwandaOnline recently launched Irembo– an online payment solution in Rwanda powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services aimed at fast-tracking payments in the country by making them safer, simpler and smarter.

The solution was launched at MasterCard’s Innovation Forum in Budapest, Hungary in partnership the Bank of Kigali and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and RwandaOnline.

“The launch of the Mastercard payment gateway service is an important milestone for us. By introducing this new technology to the country, we are helping merchants and consumers leapfrog into the digital age,” says Daniel Monehin, Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard.

Irembo allows citizens to make online payments to any of these government entities through the use of debit, credit or prepaid payment cards. Residents can pay for anything from driver’s licenses, birth certificates and identity cards. The portal also allows travelers to Rwanda to apply and pay for their travel visa.

And there continues to be enormous potential for the Mastercard digital payment gateway solution in Rwanda as the Bank of Kigali can offer the technology to merchants who are then able to create their own online portal, opening up opportunities to entrepreneurs in this growing economy.

With merchants contributing significantly to the growth and the development of the economy, it is crucial to provide these key players with the solutions that they need to keep up with consumer demands. Through this solution, merchants are empowered to create new revenue streams as they are able to enter into the lucrative e-commerce market.

In the recently released McKinsey & Company report Digital Finance for All: Powering Inclusive Growth in Emerging Economies, it has been estimated that the adoption of digital finance could add $3.7 trillion dollars to the GDP of emerging markets, which ultimately would drive growth and the financial inclusion within those regions.

The report also states that 200 million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have no or insufficient access to credit, proving that these sorts of solutions are critical in driving development in this area.

Bank of Kigali Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Diane Karusisi also hailed the development, noting that it is the Bank’s mission to provide its customers with highly secure payments channels. “We are excited to be adding to our offering as we launch the digital payment gateway solution which allows us to deliver highly secure digital payments.”

“We believe this solution will be able to help drive the development of merchants and provide the people of Rwanda with tangible outcomes that deliver results that will positively impact their lives,” said Dr. Karusisi.