Ethiopia’s national payment switch, EthSwitch has partnered with Oromia Bank and Mastercard to ensure all the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the country accept Mastercard debit, credit and prepaid cards.
Chief Executive Officer at EthSwitch, Yilebes Addis said the mandate of EthSwitch is to contribute to the modernization of the national payments system and enhance financial inclusion in the country.
“Oromia Bank is the first bank to accept Mastercard payment cards using EthSwitch as the payments processor – a milestone we are extremely proud of,” said Mr Addis.
Through the partnership, tourists and local citizens carrying Mastercard payment cards can withdraw local currency from Oromia Bank ATMs, processed by the EthSwitch network.
“Through this partnership, we are progressing this goal by enabling interoperability of ATMs and making it easier for people to transact,” he added.
Since its inception in 2001, ATM usage has increased rapidly in Ethiopia.
Reports indicate that by the end of the 2020/2021 fiscal year, Ethiopia’s banking industry had processed a total of over 225 million ATM transactions, of which 38,302,370 were interbank transactions facilitated by EthSwitch.
Oromia Bank has made significant contributions to the country’s banking industry since 2008.
The bank has deployed new banking practices including interest-free banking services.
Oromia Bank has more than 400 branches nationwide, the bank aims to further modernize the sector through new technology adoption and partnerships.
President of Oromia Bank, Teferi Mekonnen noted that the country’s growth of electronic payments has evolved over the last few years and the bank has played a significant role in pioneering new banking practices.
” We remain committed to developing appropriate payment channels to provide people with more convenient, secure, and reliable ways to access funds in the country. This partnership with EthSwitch and Mastercard is the latest example of how we continue to collaborate on this journey,” said Mr Mekonnen.
According to the Country Manager for East Africa, Mastercard, Shehryar Ali, the partnership is the commencement of a productive journey of digital transformations in the country.
This further supports Mastercard’s goal of including 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses in the digital economy by 2025.
“Ethiopians are increasingly seeking safe, seamless, and consistent digital experiences. Backed by the speed and security of Mastercard’s global network, we are pleased to partner with EthSwitch and Oromia Bank to lead the transition to digital while supporting Digital Ethiopia 2025 vision to modernize the payment system. Importantly, we are also contributing to the financial freedom of Ethiopia’s citizens, and anyone visiting the country for work or leisure. Together, we can connect more people to the global digital economy while laying the groundwork for future innovation,” said Mr Ali.
In the next phase, Oromia Bank will collaborate with EthSwitch and Mastercard to enable people to pay for goods and services with their Mastercard payment cards at Point of Sale.