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Ethiopia imposes restrictions on electronic money transfers

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Ethiopia , 13 Jan 2021

The National Bank of Ethiopia has imposed restrictions on the number of electronic money transfers to not more than five times from a single bank account per week.

The Bank said it supports the use of non-cash payment instrument, but that ensuring safety and efficiency of the payment systems is critical.

According to a secular signed by Solomon Desta, vice governor of National Bank of Ethiopia’s financial institutions supervisions to all banks, no one is allowed to make more than five electronic money transfers per week - except account transfers made for the purpose of effecting utility payments including mobile top ups, salary payments by employer organisations and transactions effected by financial institutions from their accounts.

Desta said, “In a bid to sufficiently ascertain the purpose of such account transfers, CEOs of banks or their formal delegates shall exceptionally approve one to multiple accounts transfer above the aforementioned weekly limit on a case by case basis.”

The Bank has offered no reasons for imposing such restrictions, although media reports suggest the decision is aimed at curbing money laundering and terrorism financing in view of the fighting going on between Ethiopian government forces and rebels in Tigray region.

The new measure is the latest in a series of restrictions being imposed by the Bank in a bid to clean up and streamline the country’s money market.

In May 2020 a similar directive was issued to banks limiting cash withdrawal per person per week.

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