Ethio Telecom awaits policy amendment to expand digital financial services

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Ethio Telecom said Wednesday that it is waiting for policy amendment in a bid to expand its digital financial services.

In May last year, the telecom giant launched telebirr, a mobile money service. Through telebirr, customers are topping up their airtime, buy internet packages, paying traffic penalties, as well as electricity and water bills.

Frehiwot Tamiru, CEO of Ethio Telecom said Wednesday that, “Our company is waiting for National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE)’s decision after we requested the financial regulator to provide us a license for loan and saving services through telebirr.”

“We are expecting to get approval soon,” she said.

Financial transaction through telebirr was limited to 8,000 Birr by NBE following the conflicts in part of Ethiopia.  The limit has been lifted, Frehiwot said.

Telebirr has17.75 million customers and financial transactions worth 12.8 billion Birr has been made 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, according to Frehiwot.

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