ETHIOPIA – Kacha Digital Financial Service, Ethiopia’s first private mobile money service provider, has joined EthSwitch, the national switch operator.

EthSwitch will enable Kacha interoperability with the existing financial and payment industry network, allowing any transaction, authorization, and clearing of payments and transfers to and from existing financial services providers, such as banks and MFIs, to be performed through a single interface.

“We are happy and proud to welcome the first private mobile money service provider and facilitate its interoperability with the payment ecosystem. I would like to extend a warm welcome and congratulations to Kacha,” said Yilebes Addis, EthSwitch’s chief executive officer.

Kacha’s mobile Wallet system is now compatible with existing and planned payment systems thanks to its membership in EthSwitch, allowing its clients to move payments from and to other financial institutions using their mobile wallet and accounts.

Kacha is now working on final preparations and platform testing ahead of its commercial debut. Once commercialised, Kacha’s mobile money technology would be able to facilitate cashless transactions through 30,000 agents onboarded across Ethiopia in conjunction with banks, microfinance institutions, and SACCOS.

“For a financial institution, accessibility and acceleration of transactions through interoperability are major priorities, and I am glad Kacha has succeeded on time and before going live,” said Abreham Tilahun, CEO of Kacha DFS.

Opening a mobile wallet account, cash in, cash out, fund transfer, bill payment, unsecured micro credits, direct payments, bill payments, fund transfers, airtime top-up, card payments, international remittance, micro saving, micro-insurance, and other innovative services are all part of Kacha’s plan.

Kacha became the first private firm to get a mobile money licence from the National Bank of Ethiopia in July 2022, with a subscribed capital of birr 200 million (US$3.81m).

Eth-Switch, a company controlled by a consortium of all banks, including the central bank, was founded in 2011 to provide retail payment service providers and, via them, end users in Ethiopia with easy, inexpensive, secure, and efficient e-payment infrastructure services.

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