Kacha Digital Financial Services S.C. plans to address unbanked population

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By Yared Nigussie

Kacha Digital Financial Services Share Company (S.C.), the first licensed private mobile money service provider by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), envisions providing its financial services to the unbanked Ethiopia’s population.

Kacha Digital Financial Services has introduced its services on Thursday at Ethiopian Skylight Hotel after the NBE has formally granted a mobile money license to Kacha.

Kacha has an aim of enabling digital first Ethiopia through providing a seamless digital financial service.

Abreham Tilahun, CEO of Kacha Digital Financial Services S.C. said during his opening remarks that, “Inclusivity of Kacha’s access is very crucial to the success of the financial services.”

Close to 12 thousand people are currently being served in a bank branch in Ethiopia.

“Kacha envisions addressing the lower-level of the pyramid—that’s the unbanked population in Ethiopia,” Abreham said.

He also mentioned that the state-of-the-art technology by Kacha’s Digital technology service is mainly intended to narrow such sort of gaps.

Kacha will also provide a bundle of services, which are not common in the financial sector, Abraham says.

Opening wallet accounts, cashing in and out, micro-saving, uncollateralized microcredits, micro-insurance, direct payments, bill payments, international remittance, fund transfers, airtime top-up, card payments, and other cutting-edge services are among the services, which will be offered.

Kacha will work with agents across Ethiopia and partners up with governmental, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders across the country.

More than 30,000 agent networks across the country will be able to offer cashless transactions through the Kacha mobile money platform. Kacha, which has a registered capital of 200 million Birr, heralds the start of a new era for expanded private sector involvement in the framework of the country’s digital financial services.

Teshome Berhe, Chairperson of the Board Directors of Kacha Digital Financial Services S.C. for his part describes that the changes and amendments of laws and policies in Ethiopia made it possible for the establishment of Kacha.

“Kacha is an institution that will unlock the untapped potential in the digital financial service sector,” he says.

The Kacha mobile money platform aims to open up opportunities for users by giving them access to secure, convenient, and cost-effective digital financial services that promote sustainable growth, expand financial inclusion, and enhance citizens’ quality of life, Teshome said.

He went on saying that, “Kacha is ready to work in collaboration with different institutions. Based on the global best practices Kacha built state-of-the-art platform, which is secured and efficient, and will soon ready to be launched.”

The visionary behind Kacha is Angesom Teklay. He is a young serial entrepreneur who has invested in a number of startups, including Hulugram, a Telegram-based multipurpose messaging software.

After Mr. Teklay spoke with various investors, now Kacha has managed to attract 13 shareholders.

Among  13 shareholders in the locally designed mobile money platform, Tewodros Ashenafi, Founder and Chairman of the Ethiopian Holding Company SouthWest Holdings Limited  as well as Chairman of Ambo Mineral Water, is one of them. Haile Leul Tamiru, Co-founder of HST Consulting PLC (formerly known as Deloitte), is also listed as a shareholder in Kacha.

Belete Molla (PhD), Minister of Innovation and Technology (MiNT) is a guest of honor of Kacha’s introduction program. He congratulated Kacha for securing the first private license to provide digital financial services in Ethiopia as accessibility and inclusivity are critical to Ethiopia’s development.

“Today’s initiative will invite other service providers to join the market,” he said. Belete further emboldens the private sector investors and innovators to take part in the sector. He further discloses that the Ministry is ready to back such efforts.

In the past three years MiNT had designed and implemented different policy regulations, Belete said.

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