Mobile Money Comes To Ethiopia
Friday, November 1, 2013
Ethiopia’s new money transfer system, M-Birr, named after its currency the birr, is based on the highly successful model pioneered by Kenya, Safaricom’s M-Pesa.
The service will provide domestic money transfers, withdrawals and savings, account balances, airtime top up, salary payment, loan repayments and, at a later stage, international remittances. “The system is ready, the team is in place, the first pilot testing will start in January,” said Thierry Artaud, General Manager of M-Birr ICT Services PLC.
The Addis Ababa-based M-Birr ICT, which provides the integrated IT system and solutions, is the Ethiopian subsidiary of M-Birr Limited, an Irish company which gave birth to the project in 2009. The services will be accessible through the five main micro-finance institutions in Ethiopia, These are debit, credit and saving institutions in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Addis and the Omo microfinance institution in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region.