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Stakeholders unite on service to boost Ethiopia’s e-payments ecosystem

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Ethiopia , 16 Nov 2022

Electronic payments are increasing in Ethiopia and this has triggered a new industry alliance between Oromia Bank, EthSwitch and Mastercard to facilitate local currency transactions from ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) using international debit and credit cards.

According to the tripartite agreement Oromia Bank ATMs will now accept Mastercard debit, credit, and prepaid cards.

As the partnership takes hold, Ethiopians will be able to pay for goods and services with their Mastercard payment cards at PoS nationally.

A joint statement released by the companies reads: “From today, tourists, and local citizens carrying Mastercard payment cards can withdraw local currency from Oromia Bank ATMs processed by the EthSwitch network.”

According to payments switch EthSwitch, the East African country’s banking industry had by the end of the 2020/2021 fiscal year processed a total of over 225 million ATM transactions.

About 38.3 million of these payments were inter-bank transactions facilitated by EthSwitch.

Teferi Mekonnen, president of Oromia Bank, says, “Ethiopia has witnessed a significant shift in growth of electronic payments over the last few years.”

Yilebes Addis, CEO of EthSwitch, adds, “The development is expected to pave the way for other Ethiopian banks as “Oromia Bank is the first bank to accept Mastercard payment cards using EthSwitch” as the payments processor.

“The mandate of EthSwitch is to contribute to the modernisation of the national payments system and enhance financial inclusion in the country. Through this partnership, we are progressing this goal by enabling interoperability of ATMs and making it easier for people to transact.”

Shehryar Ali, country manager for East Africa at Mastercard, says the new collaboration represents the payments company’s “commitment to support Ethiopia achieve its digital transformation objectives” through digital partnerships with EthSwitch and its member banks.

“Ethiopians are increasingly seeking safe, seamless, and consistent digital experiences. Backed by the speed and security of Mastercard’s global network, we are pleased to partner with and EthSwitch and Oromia Bank to lead the transition to digital.”

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