Ethiopia’s Central Bank announced it will allow non-financial institutions to offer mobile money services. The move will see telecoms venture into the lucrative industry which a study by Ethio Telecom shows that Ethiopia’s mobile banking can generate as much as KSh1.34 trillion ($ 13 billion) by 2025.
In the recent past, there have been talks about government’s plan to liberalize the telecommunication industry. Kenya’s Safaricom has shown interest in a Ksh100 billion strategic investment with Vodacom in the country. Ethiopia with a population of 105 million people presents a lucrative opportunity for growth in mobile money for African based telcos such as MTN Group Ltd, Vodacom, Safaricom, and Orange SA.
Bloomberg reports that some of the requirements for the license include:
- minimum capital of 50 million birr ($1.5 million)
- ownership by Ethiopian nationals or people of Ethiopian origin and a minimum of 10 shareholders
- maximum account balances of 30,000 birr and transaction limits of 8,000 birr daily and 60,000 birr monthly.
A statement on the National Bank of Ethiopia’s website states that non-financial institutions that receive the permit will also provide saving, credit, insurance and pension products.