Safaricom Ethiopia Obtains M-PESA License, Launch in ‘Weeks’

Safaricom Ethiopia Obtains M-PESA Licenses from Regulator

Safaricom Ethiopia through its newly established and wholly owned subsidiary, Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Financial Services PLC (Private Limited Company) received the Payment Instrument Issuer License from the National Bank of Ethiopia.

The license acquired at the cost of $150,000,000 is a one-time license. Safaricom Ethiopia will now be able to offer financial services to its Ethiopian customers under the trademark M-Pesa.

“We are delighted to receive the license to establish M-Pesa and start providing Mobile Financial Services to our customers. M-Pesa comes with a tested and proven track record of enabling financial inclusion in Africa, provides services to more than 51 million customers across seven countries in Africa with a safe, secure, and affordable ways to send and receive money, top-up airtime, make bill payments, get short-term loans and much more.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to the Government of Ethiopia, Ministry of Finance, and the National Bank of Ethiopia for the support and guidance which will allow us to contribute our share to the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia fast tracking Digital Inclusion and promote innovation outlined in the Digital payments Strategy 2025,”  says Anwar Soussa, CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia.

Safaricom Ethiopia Customers to use M-Pesa

Safaricom Ethiopia intends to start offering financial services by the second half of the year 2023. Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa during the half year investor briefing intimated that there has been work going on with partners for a while now, as the company awaited the license, so the launch will be coming in weeks, instead of months.

Mpesa has been a successful fintech venture for the company. As it currently stands, M-Pesa contributes 39.7% of Safaricom’s annual revenue.

The mobile money platform has now grown to 32 million customers. The customers made 21 billion transactions worth Ksh 35.9 trillion during the financial year 2023.

Safaricom Ethiopia customers will certainly be looking to enjoy all the features that come with M-pesa. It remains to be seen whether extras like mobile loans and overdrafts achieved through partnerships with banks will be available for the Ethiopian market.

M-Pesa has remained a leader in bringing financial services to the banked and unbanked. Its 8.8% growth in the last financial year shows it is here to stay.