Ethiopian Airlines and Ethio Telecom launched Wednesday a digital sells of air tickets through telebirr, a mobile money service provided by the latter.
The agreement has been signed between Lemma Yadecha, Ethiopian Airlines Chief Commercial Officer and Frehiwot Tamiru, CEO of Ethio Telecom.
This agreement will enable Ethiopian domestic flight service ticket online purchasing system via telebirr.
The payment system integration agreement will have key roles to play, particularly it would enable the Ethiopian Airlines’ passengers to have access to easy, fast, convenient, and secured telebirr based flight ticket online purchasing service at any time and everywhere as a mode of payment option.
Prior to making the official agreement program, close to 7.3 million customers have purchased tickets worth 6.67 million Birr through telebirr transaction system, according to Frehiwot.
Ethiopian has been serving 2.5 million local passengers annually.
It has been recalled that the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has limited the transaction rate through telebirr to 8,000 Birr due to factors associated with the war in Tigray. Now, the limit has been lifted and Ethiopian Airlines can sell tickets worth 30,000 Birr, said Frehiwot.
Lemma said in the agreement program that both Ethiopian and Ethio Telecom will exert efforts so that the government could lift the transaction limits.
Ethiopian is transporting 6900 local passengers in a daily basis.
Since the launching of telebirr service back in May 2021, over 12.58 billion Birr local money transfer has been undertaken, while over half a million dollars ($528.4 thousand) financial transfer has been made via telebirr from 34 countries in cooperation with eight international telebirr remittance partners.
Telebirr has now 17.75 million customers and close to 56.7 million financial transactions were made through the system. Also, financial transactions rate worth 12.8 billion Birr in almost a year.
“Ethio Telecom has a plan to boost the growth of telebirr service covering 50% of Ethiopia’s GDP in five years,” Frehiwot said.
So far, 12 banks have been integrated with telebirr.
Besides the digital transaction service coverage via telebirr and the number of service rendering partners rapidly increasing from time to time, at present Ethio telecom provides telebirr services at 353 shops and through 80 master agents, 64,000 agents and over 16 thousand merchants.
Since officially launched in May 2021, the service has brought meaningful and significant changes in simplifying the daily activities of communities. Particularly, telebirr digital/ e-money service is playing a pivotal role in fostering the digital economy that the nation aspires to achieve along with improving our community’s digital payment system experience and in modernizing the existing customary cash transactions of institutions’ payment systems, according to Ethio Telecom.
Enabling various business transaction payments ranging from making payments for small transaction to transferring large amount of money via telebirr, it has significantly contributed to the adoption of digital payment system across the nation, thereby calls for action many local institutions to utilize the service at large.
So far, over 52 institutions including traffic penalty payments, have integrated their services with telebirr to operate their businesses online, collect monthly bills and provide several online services to their customers. Furthermore, the telecom giant has already made the necessary preparations to integrate telebirr payment system with more than 20 governmental and non-governmental organizations and will soon officially launch the service accordingly.