Mastercard and EthSwitch Partner to Drive Digital Transformation of the Payments Sector in Ethiopia

  • With momentum building, EthSwitch joins hundreds of organizations that are already using Mastercard Send™ to speed up and improve fund transfers for billions of people in 100+ markets.
  • EthSwitch will leverage Mastercard’s global network and digital payments capabilities to allow fast and secure transfer of funds.

EthSwitch, Ethiopia’s national payment switch has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mastercard that will enable financial institutions across Ethiopia to boost the adoption and usage of digital payments. By leveraging Mastercard Send, a payments platform that enables people and organizations to send and receive money instantly, domestically and cross-border, EthSwitch is able to continue to make digital money transfers more widely available and accessible. The advanced payment solution will deliver a simple and better user experience that will contribute towards the acceleration of Ethiopia’s transition to a cash-lite economy.

“Ethiopia is quickly moving into the digital economy and EthSwitch is striving to achieve its strategic goals, which substantially contributes for the success of Digital Ethiopia 2025, National Digital Payments Strategy and National Financial Inclusion Strategies,” says Yilebes Addis, Chief Executive Officer at EthSwitch. “It is critical that we advance Ethiopia’s financial system to support the economy with an improved flow of remittances in the country. Our partnership with Mastercard is a significant step as we embrace the continued modernization of the national payments system and enhance financial inclusion in the country.”

Mastercard will partner with EthSwitch to enable transfer of funds through a mobile phone application thus pushing brick-and-mortar transfers out as consumers look for more convenient and contactless transfer options. With this partnership, customers will enjoy instant pay out capabilities, secure transactions and will additionally be enabled to send and receive funds at any moment.

Additionally, Mastercard will provide advisory and technical support to advance EthSwitch’s digital-first strategy, in accordance with local and global best practices. Under the terms of the MoU, EthSwitch will leverage Mastercard’s technology, expertise, partnerships, and cyber intelligence solutions to diversify its payment capability beyond person-to-person payments.

“Mastercard recognizes that consumers today are looking for simple and secure financial products that add more value to their daily lives. Our partnership with EthSwitch supports our endeavor to facilitate digital remittances in this country, therefore bringing financial inclusion to the millions of Ethiopians who need it,” says Dimitrios Dosis, President of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Mastercard.

This is the latest collaboration between Mastercard and EthSwitch. In November last year, EthSwitch, Oromia Bank and Mastercard announced a landmark partnership that saw all the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the country accept Mastercard debit, credit, and prepaid cards – the first bank to offer such a service.

“Ethiopia is becoming one of the digitally connected countries in East Africa and cross-border payments have transformed the payments landscape in this market. We have been operating in this country for 14 years now and are exciting to be part of this journey. Additionally, the partnerships we have formed in Ethiopia are just one example of the many ways we are fostering financial inclusion on a continent with enormous potential and helping to forge brighter futures for African citizens and organizations,” adds Dimitrios Dosis.

In Ethiopia, Mastercard’s footprint has been expanded through several partnerships recently formed with local financial institutions, as well as government departments and global organizations. The MoU aligns with Mastercard’s focus on localizing its solutions to address specific market needs and shows deep understanding of the dynamics of the banking ecosystem in Ethiopia. Mastercard is committed to connecting and empowering an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible. This forms part of Mastercard’s digitization efforts in Africa and the organization’s goal to connecting one billion individuals to the global digital economy by 2025.

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