ACI drives new payments network in Rwanda


ACI Software Drives State-of-the-Art Transaction Network in Sub-Saharan Africa

(Omaha, Neb. - 7 February 2004) - ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq: TSAI), a leading international provider of enterprise payment solutions, today announced a live implementation of its open systems software for payments and card management at SIMTEL, an organisation created by the Rwandan government to modernise the country's national payments network. SIMTEL has deployed BASE24-esâ„¢ to drive its core payments network and ACI Card Management Systemâ„¢ for the management of card accounts and personalisation. The software will provide a flexible framework for card transactions and help SIMTEL promote the use of cards among Rwanda's largely unbanked population.

The BASE24-es integrated payment engine is the foundation of the Republic of Rwanda's new national inter-bank card payments network. The creation of a network for card payments at the point-of-sale (POS) and cash withdrawals from ATMs will directly benefit Rwanda's economy, banks and consumers. A national card payments infrastructure is essential for the effective economic reform of the country's banking system.

"This is an exciting day for SIMTEL and for our country," said Roger Munyampenda, director general of SIMTEL. "With ACI's help we have been able to provide a modern, flexible and open system that will support the growing demands of the developing payments system in Rwanda. BASE24-es will enable SIMTEL to acquire, authenticate, route, switch and authorise card transactions on behalf of the commercial banks in Rwanda. This is an important step in the economic development of our nation."

ACI Card Management System software will enable the issuing and acquiring of debit cards. Most importantly, the payments network will reduce the amount of cash in circulation in Rwanda, a primary concern of the Rwandan government.

Rwanda's new payments infrastructure will initially support national Visa debit cards. A second phase will introduce the acceptance of international credit cards to help bolster a previously cash-only revenue stream from foreign visitors. It will also enhance the national card scheme and enable the use of pre-authorised debit cards, allowing the system to be used in environments where online authorisation is not always possible.

The project will provide ATMs and POS terminals to all banks under the direction of the government and the central bank of Rwanda. This will enable a wide cardholder and merchant base to process transactions electronically - in many cases for the first time. In addition, the system uses the internationally standardised card scheme and payment methods of Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV).

"We are extremely proud to be playing such a pivotal role in the implementation of Rwanda's new payment system, which will greatly extend the level of banking services available to its population," said Richard Launder, managing director at ACI Worldwide (EMEA). "Our experience and commitment to scalable technology has helped to build Rwanda an open infrastructure that will support future growth as consumer demand grows for high quality payment services."

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