Thanks to technological advancements, it’s now possible for ordinary folks to conveniently make payments for most products and services online as well as via their mobile devices. From purchasing products on online stores, subscribing to entertainment streaming platforms and depositing funds at online casinos and sportsbooks, mobile phone owners can now make transactions in the comfort of their own homes. M-PESA is a direct competitor to Telebirr
On the African stage, the most popular mobile-based payment method is M-Pesa. To best describe M-Pesa, we can say that it’s a “branchless banking service”. All that prospective M-Pesa customers need to start using the service is to own a mobile device. Once done, they can register for M-Pesa and start to deposit funds. The funds that they deposit can be used to make payments to thousands of global merchants. Not only this, M-Pesa users can send funds to each other (like bank-to-bank transfers) and also withdraw their funds in hard cash. Become an M-Pesa Ethiopia Agent.
M-Pesa’s history dates back to 2007 when it was founded by Vodafone and Safaricom, the largest mobile network operator in Kenya. Since its inception, the mobile phone-based money transfer service has enjoyed huge success as ordinary folks including the unbanked rely on the service to send money to each other. Its success necessitated it to expand its operations to other countries.
In the past, M-Pesa spread its wings to Tanzania, Mozambique, DRC, Lesotho, Ghana, Egypt, Afghanistan, and South Africa. These past few days, Ethiopia became the latest country to welcome M-Pesa.
M-Pesa Ethiopia Launch Date
Early this year, Safaricom Ethiopia received a mobile money license, the Payment Instrument Issuer License from the National Bank of Ethiopia. Right after, Safaricom started to put in the work to ensure that it would start offering the much-loved M-Pesa service. The big day arrived on 16 August 2023 when Safaricom officially launched M-Pesa Ethiopia.
With Safaricom already boasting of having 4 million customers in Ethiopia, it means that from the get-go, M-Pesa Ethiopia also serves 4 million Ethiopians!
Announcing the great news, the interim CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia Stanley Njoroge said, “We are excited to go live with M-Pesa in Ethiopia and start providing Mobile Financial Services to our customers. M-Pesa is known to be a game changer for financial inclusion and provides services to more than 51 million customers across seven countries in Africa offering a safe and secure platform for transactions.”
How M-Pesa Ethiopia Works
All that customers need to start using M-Pesa in Ethiopia is a mobile device. Whether it’s a smartphone or a regular phone, any mobile device will do. M-Pesa Ethiopia’s USSD is *733#. This is the code that customers need to dial on their mobile devices to see all the services that M-Pesa Ethiopia offers.
In its early days, M-Pesa Ethiopia will offer basic services. These include the following:
- Deposits: Users can load funds in their M-Pesa accounts using cash when they visit M-Pesa retail branches (available at Safaricom outlets and soon-to-be-established booths at major retail stores)
- Withdrawals: Users can withdraw funds from their accounts when they visit M-Pesa retail branches
- Send Money: Users can send money to other M-Pesa users
- Receive Money: Users can receive money from other M-Pesa users
- Make Payments: Users can make payments via USSD at select merchants
- Transfer to Local Bank Accounts: Users can move funds in their M-Pesa accounts to and from local bank accounts registered in their name
- Buy Airtime: Users can buy airtime for themselves or third parties.
While at first M-Pesa Ethiopia will offer the basic services, it was announced during the launch that once it scales up its operations in the country, M-Pesa Ethiopia will start to offer more advanced services which include credit facilities (loan and savings).
M-Pesa Ethiopia Mobile App
At the present moment, M-Pesa Ethiopia can only be accessed via USSD. There isn’t any dedicated mobile app that users can download and install. However, according to an ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) post done by Safaricom Ethiopia, it was announced that M-Pesa users can in the near future use the Safaricom Ethiopia mobile app to access M-Pesa services as these will be bundled up.
Taking a cue from Kenya, M-Pesa Ethiopia is highly likely going to be a hit. This is largely necessitated by the fact that the Ethiopian population is significantly bigger than that of Kenya hence the target market will be huge. Moreover, the mere fact that M-Pesa serves even the unbanked population makes it a great proposition to ordinary folks including those living in rural and remote areas where ready access to banking institutions is a tough ask.