Ethiopia grants mobile banking license to Safaricom

Ethio Telecom, a state-owned telecom company, started providing mobile digital finance services through Telebirr two years ago; Safaricom has become the second telecom company to offer digital financial services in the country.

Today, through the National Bank of Ethiopia, a mobile money transfer license has been granted to Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Financial Services PLC.

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, said Ethiopia would grant a mobile money transfer license to Safaricom Ethiopia.

Safaricom is expected to officially launch its mobile money transfer service in Ethiopia through M-PESA.

Safaricom Ethiopia granted the license six months after Ethiopian lawmakers enacted a revised National Payment System Proclamation, allowing foreign companies to engage in payment system operations.

After giving the license to Safaricom the National Bank of Ethiopia has announced that a decision will help Ethiopia to facilitate the innovation and inclusiveness of finance.

In a statement, the bank said that the granting of Safaricom’s mobile money transfer license to Ethiopia,
which is the second most populous country in Africa, will help bring about better changes in the sector.

Another telecom company that provides mobile money exchange services in Ethiopia, is Ethio Telecom, which is used to make fuel purchases and pay for various services through Telebirr App.

It is expected that Safaricom has a lot of work ahead of it to compete with Ethiotelecom in the mobile money transfer service.

The Ethiopian government is making various efforts to expand digital money payment options to its citizens instead of using cash. This effort will play a positive role in the effectiveness of Safaricom’s mobile money service.

Ethiopia’s population is estimated to be over 120 million, and most of the population uses cash-based

The Somali region is using digital financial payment services better way than any other Ethiopian region;
especially the digital payment option called HelloCash is widespread in different areas of the region.

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