Digital Financial Services (DFS) and Market infrastructure

Support to Scale-up Gender Intentional Rwanda National Digital Payment System (RNDPS) – Phase II


Rwanda is poised at a moment when DFS can potentially take off. This is based on substantial achievements in fostering financial inclusion over the past decade and an increase in mobile financial services infrastructure and uptake. Digital technology has played a pivotal role in expanding the access and usage of financial services as highlighted by the Finscope Surveys (2016, 2020). Government and other market system actors are increasingly aware of the transformative power of national digital payment platforms, particularly to female enfranchisement, as amply illustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic when the importance of digital technology was seen.

Under Pillar 4, AFR will continue its current market infrastructure interventions, such as interoperability of payment platforms, to facilitate financial inclusion of underserved segments of women and delivery of appropriate services to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). AFR has a key role to play to ensure that the deepening of the digital financial sector is gender responsive, explicitly focuses on and prioritizes women to realize financial equity while upholding the principles of being demand-led, integrity, consumer protection and empowerment.

By solidifying the establishment and supporting the scale-up of the Rwanda National Digital Payment System (RNDPS), the project directly supports AFR’s strategy to “continue, and potentially expand, its current digital infrastructure interventions such as interoperability of payment platforms and agent networks to facilitate the inclusion of low-income individuals and deliver appropriate services to MSMEs.”. The project is a continuation of a project in AFR Phase II and aims to facilitate change in market actors’ behaviour to address constraints within the following supporting functions: infrastructure, market coordination, technical support, capacity building, and regulations and standards. It will also identify and support change to address constraints specific to women and other marginalized groups in accessing DFS. Various market analyses have revealed that women constitute a vast, untapped market opportunity, yet underserved and underrepresented in the financial service sphere.

Project objective

Expand access to affordable, relevant digital financial services for underserved segments including women and other marginalized groups and accelerate DFS usage by strengthening the Rwanda National Digital Payment System (RNDPS), achieving interoperability of digital payments in Rwanda, and building a more robust and inclusive digital economy.

Project overview/Key highlights:

Project name Support to Scale-up Gender Intentional Rwanda National Digital Payment System (RNDPS) - Phase II
Project period 2 years (Pilot Phase)
Key Project targets
  1. At least 300,000 more low-income individuals’ (40% women) access and use DFS
  2. At least 10,000 more MSMEs (35% women owned/run MSMEs) access and use DFS
  3. At least 10 Digital Financial Services Providers (DFSPs) implement gender-inclusive/women-centric use cases
Partner(s) RSwitch
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