In the dynamic realm of East African fintech, NALA has emerged as a pivotal player, steering its growth through strategic geographic expansion, innovative product development, and a steadfast commitment to improving economic infrastructure. The recent acquisition of a Payment Service Provider (PSP) license from the National Bank of Rwanda marks a crucial milestone for NALA in its mission to establish robust payment networks across Africa.
NALA’s growth strategy involves obtaining licenses that facilitate direct integration with financial institutions, including banks and mobile money operators. This strategic approach not only permits NALA but compels the company to exert increased control over the payment flow, resulting in enhanced service efficiency and reliability at exponential levels.
Significantly, the National Bank of Rwanda has granted approval for NALA’s PSP license. This regulatory recognition underscores NALA’s dedication to investing in the Rwandan market. As Rwanda positions itself as a global business and investment hub, NALA’s commitment to local integration with banks and mobile money operators aligns seamlessly with the nation’s vision for economic advancement.
Since its establishment in Rwanda in 2021, NALA has actively facilitated remittance payments to bank accounts and mobile money wallets, processing over 10,000 transactions and impressively disbursing one billion Rwandan Francs. This pivotal role serves as a means for the Rwandan diaspora to send money back home.
The recently acquired PSP license enhances NALA’s capabilities to internally manage disbursements and collections, resulting in reduced costs and heightened reliability for users. Empowered by this development, NALA can expand its service range by offering merchant payment gateway services, integrating directly with telcos and banks, as well as processing payments on behalf of third parties like other remittance services.
Nicolai Eddy, the Chief Operating Officer of NALA, underscores how direct integration with banks and telcos has a positive impact. By addressing challenges that individuals and businesses encounter while transferring money across Rwanda’s borders through this strategic move, NALA not only improves service quality but also decreases costs.
Key figures in the Rwandan financial sector recognize NALA’s role in advancing this agenda—a strategy that aligns with Rwanda’s broader fintech initiative outlined within the Fintech Policy 2022-2027, a document underpinning its approval of the PSP license. This policy doesn’t merely seek to position Rwanda as a regional financial center; it also strives for two crucial objectives—fostering robust financial inclusion and attracting substantial investment.
Rwanda Finance Limited’s Chief Investment Officer, Jean-Marie Kananura, perceives NALA’s presence as a substantial contribution to Rwanda’s endeavor to promote digital and financial inclusion. This development dovetails with Rwanda’s vision for not just economic progress within its borders but also regionally and continentally.
While NALA persists in its operational activities in Rwanda, it strategically aligns the company’s focus with the goal of supporting technological innovation within the nation. This alignment ultimately aims to provide economic opportunities for Africa’s burgeoning youth population. Furthermore, by making the NALA App available for download, this showcases an evident commitment from the company towards expanding its reach—transcending borders and extending access globally.
NALA, aiming to disrupt the status quo with its provision of equitable and transparent financial services amidst a myriad of other options for sending money to Africa. The fact that The World Bank estimates average transfer fees at approximately 9%—challenges are indeed highlighted by this statistic—underscores Africa’s uphill battle. By empowering individuals to exercise control over their finances, NALA is actively taking steps towards shifting this paradigmatic perspective—an ambitious mission rooted in socio-economic transformation.