The National Bank of Ethiopia has granted mobile money license to Kacha Digital Financial Services S.C, making it the first private company in the country to have such a license. Mobile money is considered one of Africa’s second-largest markets in terms of population.
The company recently announced that it has officially received the first private mobile money license from the National Bank of Ethiopia. The issuance of this license is no doubt the start of a new era in the private sector in terms of digital financial services provision.
Kacha which is registered under the payment service proclamation 718/2011 and the NBE directive has a subscribed capital of birr 200 million. The company started developing its mobile money plans back in 2019 and it’s been a long time coming. The company has been under the leadership of founder Angesom Teklay.
This defining milestone for the private sector indicates a revolutionary mark for the national digital financial services landscape. The efforts of founding shareholders and other related personnel of the past three and a half years seem to have borne fruits.
Kacha Digital Financial Services S.C is positioned in a manner that facilitates the country in achieving citizen empowerment and ensuring their financial inclusion in the economy. The move shows innovation in terms of market commodities. The efforts by the company over the years ad institutional preparations were spearheaded by Ethiopian developers and other international experts.
“Kacha mobile money platform purports to allow users access to affordable, convenient, and secure digital financial services that are geared towards sustainable growth, enhancing access to finance, and improving citizens’ livelihood.”
With the new license, Kacha Mobile money platform will be able to provide cashless transactions through existing networks on more than 30,000 in terms of the width and breadth of the country.
Previously, Telebirr was the only mobile money platform operated by a non-financial firm. moreover, the government-owned company, Ethio Telecom was the first to obtain a mobile money license from National Bank. It is important to note that though Ethio Telecom has a similar license, it is not a firm in the private sector.
The telebirr digital payment platform has over 21 million users, 89 master agents, over 73 thousand agents, and over 21,000 merchants as of July 19, 2022, having transacted 25 billion Birr (US$475.39m) in electronic currency.
Kacha Digital Services
Further Kacha Digital purports to provide services such as the opening of wallet accounts, cash-in, cash-out, micro saving, uncollateralized micro credits, micro insurance, direct payments, bill payments, international remittance, and fund transfer, airtime top-up, card payments, and other innovative services. These services will undoubtedly help the country comes closer to achieving its SDGs and other financial goals.
The company’s vision for the mobile money market is driven by the Digital Ethiopia 2025 and the National Digital Payment Strategy which is expected to bridge the existing gaps in digital services provision.
The National Bank of Ethiopia has recently consented to the appointment of 7 Board of Directors and the appointment of Ato Abreham Tilahun Abera, as founding Chief Executive Officer of Kacha Digital Financial Service. A financial introductory event was scheduled for 28th July 2022.
The mobile money platform seeks to provide users with flexibility and convenience in digital services provision. There are 13 shareholders in the locally designed mobile money platform. Tewodros Ashenafi, the founder and chairman of the Ethiopian holding company SouthWest Holdings Ltd.
The founder of the company has also launched other tech firms in Africa such as Linknet and Aidu, which specializes in ICT (Telecom) Infrastructure, software development and maintenance, and Information Systems Solutions.
This move is the largest and most recent development in Ethiopia as the government continues to prioritize the privatization of various service provisions.