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#NewsAlert: Ethiopia issues mobile money license to Safaricom M-Pesa

Photo: NBE

Addis Abeba – The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has today issued a mobile money service license to Safaricom M-Pesa Mobile Financial Service Plc, making it the first foreign investor in the industry to get licensed.

The issuance reflects NBE’s ongoing objectives of “fostering financial innovation and inclusion in the Ethiopian market,” NBE said.

Ethiopia’s digital finance offerings include mobile banking, mobile wallet, internal banking and card banking, which the NBE said has “expanded rapidly”

In December last year, Ethiopian Parliament approved the amended National Payment System Proclamation, which allowed foreign companies to participate in payment system operations, “to facilitate their participation without the need to wait for revised the banking law,” Central Bank Governor Mamo Mihretu said at the time.

Currently mobile money is exclusive to the state giant ethio telecom through its Telebirr service, which is currently in use by a number of local banks, and microfinance institutions. AS

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