Ethiopia Sees Jump in Mobile Payments Despite COVID-19

Source: New Business Ethiopia 

In Ethiopia, mobile money first became available in 2015 with the official launch of M-BIRR. This has been followed by other mobile money services, such as HelloCash, CBE-Birr, and Amole. M-BIRR currently has over 1.9 million customers in Ethiopia. It is provided by six leading microfinance institutions (Amhara, Addis, Oromia, Dedebit, OMO, and PEACE Microfinance) and is available at over 19,000 branches and agents across the country, making it Ethiopia’s largest agent banking network.

COVID-19 has created many disruptions in Ethiopia this year, impacting both merchants and consumers. The World Health Organization warned that paper currency can risk spreading the virus, and encouraged adoption of digital payments as a safer alternative. To help combat COVID, several leading mobile money services – M-BIRR, Amole, and Hello Cash – announced fee waivers, public awareness efforts, and other initiatives earlier in the year.

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