Rwanda's digital payments market is on a strong upward trend, and it is expected to reach a staggering total transaction value of USD 1,417 million in 2023. This fact alone shows how the country's digital economy and people's spending habits are changing.
But how do these changes impact businesses? Customers choose to buy from companies that offer the payment methods they prefer. If you wish to succeed as a business in the Rwandan market, you need to know and provide payment methods customers prefer and deliver a seamless payment experience. And this blog is there to help.
Below, we'll discuss payment trends in Rwanda and some of customers' preferred payment methods. This way, you can learn more about the Rwandan market and offer suitable payment methods and thus boost your sales.
Rwanda Payment Trends for 2023
The payment landscape in Rwanda is set to undergo significant transformations. The rise of digital payments and mobile money is no less than a revolution reshaping how businesses operate, and consumers transact.
The digital payment ecosystem in Rwanda is expanding at an unprecedented rate. By 2023, the number of users engaging with digital payments is projected to soar to 4.8 million.
This surge in user engagement is not just about numbers – it's about the average transaction value per user, which is expected to reach USD 294.58. These figures paint a picture of a society that's rapidly adopting digital transactions.
But what does this mean for businesses and consumers?
It allows businesses to take advantage of a growing market, streamline their processes, and give customers more choices and ease of use.
For consumers, it means having more power over their money, being able to do business anytime, anywhere, and having a smooth payment experience.
Top 4 Payment Methods in Rwanda
1. Open Account
An open account transaction is one where the goods are shipped & delivered before payment is due. This method is quite prevalent in Rwanda, primarily due to the trust it builds between businesses and consumers.
Most transactions in Rwanda are cash-based and conducted through banks, making open accounts convenient.
However, it's not without risks. Businesses must be cautious, as this method exposes them to a higher risk of non-payment. The open account method remains popular despite the risks due to its simplicity and customer convenience.
Credit and debit cards, while less widespread in Rwanda, are still used, particularly in urban areas. Key players in the market include Visa and Mastercard. However, their usage is mainly confined to hotels and some restaurants in Kigali.
For businesses, accepting card payments can sell to customers who prefer this method. Even though cards aren't accepted everywhere, they are a safe and easy way to pay. And the prevalence of card payment is expected to increase as the eCommerce industry matures further.
E-wallets and mobile money services are other frequently used payment methods.
Providers like MTN Mobile Money and Airtel Money have revolutionized transactions, with mobile payment transactions growing by a whopping 206% in 2020. The total value of these transactions was estimated at RWF 469.6 billion, signaling a shift toward digital payments.
The popularity of e-wallets can be attributed to their ease of use, accessibility, and the growing penetration of mobile phones in Rwanda. For businesses, offering mobile money payments can help tap into a large segment of the population that relies on these services.
PayPal, a global online payment system, has also indirectly entered Rwanda.
While PayPal doesn't operate directly in Rwanda, a workaround through Equity Bank allows users to link their bank account to PayPal, enabling them to make and receive payments. This method is beneficial for businesses engaged in international trade. Despite the indirect access, PayPal offers a secure and globally recognized payment platform.
For businesses in Rwanda that deal with international clients or suppliers, offering PayPal as a payment method can enhance their credibility and attract more international business.
Local Payment Methods and Rising Complexities for Businesses
While the top payment methods offer a broad understanding of Rwanda's payment landscape, the local and alternative methods add complexity.
In recent years, Rwanda has seen the emergence of private payment services that cater to a niche segment of the population.
Services like Wise Multi-Currency Account, Remitly, Wise, Western Union, WorldRemit, and Western Union Singapore have carved out a space in the market. For those who value privacy, services offering anonymous transactions have become increasingly popular. These include prepaid debit cards and certain online money services, providing privacy and security that traditional methods may not offer.
Cryptocurrencies, too, have made their way into Rwanda's payment landscape. While not mainstream, the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is growing, with online purchases using crypto debit cards.
This diverse payment landscape presents a complex challenge for businesses. Understanding and integrating these various payment methods can be a daunting task. However, it's a challenge that companies must overcome, as offering a range of payment options can be a crucial differentiator in a competitive market.
The key is to stay adaptable and responsive to the changing trends, ensuring your business remains relevant to the evolving consumer preferences. But how can companies do that? Let's learn how.
How inai Helps you Integrate Payment Methods in Rwanda?
In Rwanda's complex payment landscape, businesses need a solution that simplifies and streamlines payment processing. This is where inai comes into play.
As a global payment aggregator, inai works with more than 30 payment gateways and offers 300 local and international payment methods. This lets businesses serve customers worldwide in their currencies and with their chosen payment methods.
inai is crafted to meet the needs of any business, whether it's a big international company or a small business with limited tech skills. Businesses can leverage low-code or no-code integration, making it easy to add or remove payment methods as per convenience.
But inai's offerings go beyond simplifying payment method integration. It helps businesses render a unified payment system that offers customers a personalized transaction experience. With inai, you're not just offering multiple payment options – you're providing a seamless, user-friendly payment experience that can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Moreover, inai guarantees PCI-DSS and GDPR-compliant service, protecting your business and customers. It also provides a dashboard that allows you to maintain an end-to-end watch on sales and conduct analytics. With these insights, you can make data-driven decisions that drive conversions and revenues.
Understanding Rwanda's diverse payment landscape is crucial for businesses operating in the country. The challenges are many, but with solutions like inai, companies can navigate these complexities and tap into the opportunities this dynamic market offers.
By staying adaptable and responsive to changing trends, businesses can survive and thrive in Rwanda's evolving digital payment ecosystem. Want to know more about how inai works and how we can help you bring you the results you desire?