The national payment processing system EthSwitch has welcomed Kacha Digital Financial Services—Ethiopia’s first ever private mobile money service provider. Ensuant to financial sector reform and subsequent directives, the road has been paved for payment instrument issuers like Kacha, for which the National Bank of Ethiopia has granted the first such license. Kacha has thus bought shares in EthSwitch.
Kacha is undertaking final preparations and is piloting its platform before its commercial launch which will avail its cashless transaction services through 30,000 agents by virtue of the partnership formed with banks, microfinance institutions, and saving and cooperative organizations that are all part of EthSwitch.
Abraham Tilahun, CEO of Kacha, said that the company will purchase shares and join EthSwith and that “customers may move money from cash to other banks or from banks to cash.”
Ethiopia’s national switch, EthSwitch, will now be able to provide Kacha interoperability with the already built network of the financial and payment industry that will enable any transaction, authorization, and clearing of payments and transfers to and from any of the existing financial services providers from a single interface.
It is to be noted that Ethio Telecom’s telebirr was the first non-bank mobile money service provider, albeit it a parastatal.
Established in 2011, EthSwitch is a share company fully owned by all banks, several MFIs, and a payment instrument issuer in Ethiopia with the underlying mandate to contirubte to the modernization of the national payments and enhacement of financial inclusion in the country. It is currently rolling out multiple projects aimed towards instant payment, payment gateway, and shared wallet platforms.