Rwanda’s Central Bank Grants License to NALA, Boosting Regional Fintech Landscape

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The National Bank of Rwanda has officially licensed NALA, an East African fintech company, to revolutionize international payments, making them more affordable and reliable for Rwanda.

NALA secured approval for a Payment Service Provider license from the National Bank of Rwanda, paving the way for seamless integration with local banks and mobile money operators.

This license introduces a range of enhanced payment capabilities, including direct integration with banks and mobile money operators, facilitating disbursements for bills or school fees, and streamlining payment collections.

NALA, operating in Rwanda since 2021, has been collaborating with partners to distribute remittance payments to both bank accounts and mobile money wallets. Over the past two years, the company has successfully processed 10,000+ transactions, aiding thousands of Rwandan diasporans in sending over one billion Rwandan Francs back home.

The new PSP license empowers NALA to manage disbursements and collections in-house, leading to cost reduction and increased reliability for those sending and collecting money in Rwanda.

Nicolai Eddy, NALA’s Group COO, emphasized, “Enabling direct integration with banks and telcos allows us to tackle challenges associated with moving money across Rwanda’s borders. Our new PSP license enables us to enhance service quality and reduce costs. We’ve collaborated closely with the Bank of Rwanda to secure this license, and we commit to supporting and collaborating with the Rwandan regulator and relevant government agencies to achieve our shared ambitions.”

This approval aligns with the recent rollout of the Rwanda Fintech Policy 2022-2027, aiming to establish Rwanda as a regional financial center and promote financial inclusion. The policy states, “The development of the Rwandan fintech landscape and the establishment of Rwanda as a fintech hub will attract investment and provide the technology and financial services needed to make Rwanda a global financial centre… Fintech also enhances the reach and efficiency of financial services more broadly to boost financial inclusion beyond payments.”

Rwanda’s vision for economic advancement aligns closely with NALA’s mission to increase economic opportunities for Africans worldwide. Jean-Marie Kananura, Chief Investment Officer at Rwanda Finance Limited, expressed excitement about NALA’s establishment, saying, “NALA’s presence will undoubtedly contribute to our efforts to drive digital and financial inclusion in Rwanda.”

NALA, committed to supporting Rwanda’s ambitions for innovation and technological advancement, continues its operational activities in the country. The NALA App, available for download globally, seeks to provide fair and transparent financial services, challenging the conventional cost of sending money to Africa.

Despite the multitude of options for sending money to Africa, the continent remains the most expensive destination, with the World Bank estimating average transfer fees at 9%. NALA aims to change this narrative by offering fair and transparent financial services, empowering individuals with control over their finances.

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