The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has granted a mobile money service license to Safaricom M-Pesa Mobile Financial Service Plc, a subsidiary of Safaricom Telecommunication Ethiopia Plc.
This is the first mobile money license granted to a foreign investor in Ethiopia.
The issuance of the mobile money license reflects the NBE's on-going objective of fostering financial innovation and inclusion in the Ethiopian market, according a statement NBE issued today.
With NBE support, the menu of digital finance offerings-including mobile banking, mobile wallets, internet banking, and card banking has expanded rapidly in recent years, showing the strong underlying public demand for the use of such services.
“We welcome this shift to the use of digital financial services so as to bring greater efficiency, safety, and transparency to the country's rapidly growing financial system,” it said.
Looking ahead, the NBE will continue to take measures to deepen Ethiopia's digital finance ecosystem. To this end, we will strongly support the spread of digital payment systems as a substitute for cash-based transactions within the economy.
The statement added that “We will also welcome the introduction of diverse forms of digital financial services so that, ultimately, these become a tool to help citizens transact, save, borrow, invest, and more as Ethiopia's financial system is modernized over the coming years.
The National Bank of Ethiopia wishes Safaricom's M-PESA service well as it launches its operations in the very near future.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency