ADDIS ABABA – Kacha Digital Financial Service, Ethiopia’s first private mobile money service provider, joined the Ethiopian National Switch (EthSwitch) on Wednesday.
After securing a license from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), Kacha DFS is piloting its platform ahead of the commercial launch, making the firm the first private mobile money services provider in the country.
Today, it has signed an agreement with EthSwitch, a share company owned by all banks in Ethiopia and offers e-payment infrastructure services to retail payment service providers.
EthSwitch said it has taken Kacha on board with the national switch membership after the digital financial services provider fulfilled all requirements including a license from the NBE and buying shares at EthSwitch.
Yilebes Addis, CEO of the EthSwitch, said one of his company’s mandates is to contribute to the efficiency of the national payment systems.
“We are happy and proud to welcome the first private mobile money service provider and facilitate its interoperability with the payment ecosystem,” the CEO said.
Once commercialized, Kacha’s mobile money platform in collaboration with banks and Microfinance institutions (MFIs) will be able to provide cashless transactions through 30,000 agents aboard from across Ethiopia.
Kacha’s services include opening a mobile wallet account, cash in, cash out, fund transfer, bill payment, unsecured micro credits, direct payments, bill payments, fund transfer, airtime top-up, card payments, international remittance, micro saving, and micro-insurance.
EthSwitch will provide Kacha interoperability with the already built network of the financial and payment industry that will enable any transaction, authorization, as well as clearing of payments and transfers to and from any of the existing financial services providers including banks and MFIs from a single interface.
The membership to EthSwitch will enable Kacha’s to let its customers leverage payment acceptance devices deployed by banks and payment system operators across merchant locations.
It also allows the mobile money service provider to issue payment cards to customers, which they can use on all ATM and POS terminals throughout the country, as per Kacha.
Abraham Tilahun, CEO of Kacha DFS, appreciated EthSwitch for their “exceptional support during the onboarding process.”
“For a financial institution, accessibility and acceleration of transactions through interoperability are major priorities,” the CEO said.”I am glad Kacha succeeded on time and before going live.”
Featured Image Caption: Abraham Tilahun, CEO of Kacha DFS (Left), and Yilebes Addis, EthSwitch’s chief executive officer (right) at the signing ceremony on Tuesday.