How to use M-PESA Ethiopia?
The service can be accessed via USSD code *733# or the M-PESA Safaricom Ethiopia smartphone app, available for both iOS and Android.
Safaricom has launched its mobile money platform, M-PESA, in Ethiopia. With M-PESA, customers can send money, make merchant and bill payments, purchase airtime and data bundles, monitor airtime usage, and withdraw funds.
The launch comes on the heels of Safaricom Ethiopia being granted the Payment Instrument Issuer License by the National Bank of Ethiopia, a milestone achieved just three months ago after the telecom operator paid 150 million dollars.
M-PESA boasts an innovative offline mode, expenditure tracking feature, and security of biometric authentication for transactions. M-PESA is also a super app, encompassing various mini-apps such as Guzo Go and Tikus to enhance user experience.
How to register on to M-PESA in Ethiopia? How to use M-PESA in Ethiopia?
How to use M-PESA in Ethiopia?
All Safaricom Ethiopia customers are automatically entitled to access the comprehensive range of services offered by M-PESA. To initiate the service or register, customers can dial *733# on their Safaricom line, regardless of whether they are using Android or iOS devices. Presently, the M-PESA app is available in five languages for Android devices through the Play Store, with an iOS version slated for release in the coming weeks.
M-PESA enters a dynamic a mobile money market dominated by Ethio Telecom‘s telebirr, which was launched over two years ago. As of the end of the 2015 Ethiopian fiscal year telebirr has garnered an impressive 34.3 million subscribers, facilitating transactions totaling 679.2 billion birr.
In addition, last week, Kacha Digital Financial Service, a private mobile money service provider, received official approval from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to launch full-scale commercial operations, introducing more competition into the landscape.
M-Pesa serves over 51 million customers across seven African countries. In Kenya, it has been instrumental in fostering financial inclusion, boasting a user base of more than 38 million and a commanding 96.5% share of the mobile money market.
While Safaricom officially launched in Ethiopia in October 2022, the big question was when it would launch M-PESA, its popular mobile money product. The answer came three months ago when Ethiopia granted a mobile money license to Safaricom. Starting today, M-PESA will become immediately available to 4 million Ethiopians.
Stanley Njoroge, interim CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia, 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.”
The service can be accessed via USSD code *733# or the M-PESA Safaricom Ethiopia smartphone app, available for both iOS and Android. However, according to a Safaricom Ethiopia’s X account post, the app will only be accessible to customers in the coming weeks.
Safaricom has also not disclosed whether a dedicated M-PESA super app will complement the service. Safaricom launched a separate super app for M-PESA for Kenyan customers that bundles all M-PESA services, including credit facilities and mini apps that leverage the M-PESA payment ecosystem. Based on trends in Kenya, complementary M-PESA products in Ethiopia will eventually be replicated in the market, but that can only happen after the service successfully scales.
Paul Kavavu, Interim General Manager of Safaricom M-PESA Mobile Financial Services PLC, said, “M-Pesa is Africa’s most successful mobile money service and the region’s largest fintech platform both for the banked and unbanked due to its safety and convenience. It also provides financial services to millions of people who have mobile phones, but do not have bank accounts, or only have limited access to banking services. In Kenya, it has enabled the growth of financial inclusion that over 90% of the adult population has access to mobile banking. We look forward to replicating this success in Ethiopia and excited to go live with the services. In the coming months we will continue to add more functions and work with all Ethiopians to jointly realize the transformative power of M-PESA.”
M-PESA will compete with Ethio Telecom’s Telebirr, which has been in operation since 2021. Telebirr has gained popularity in Ethiopia’s finance sector, serving 34.3 million customers and with transactions valued at $12.3 billion. It provides key digital financial services, including Telebirr Sanduq and Endekise. These services have extended microloans adding up to $74.4 million, 2.4 million customers, and facilitated over $3.6 billion in micro-savings. Alongside the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Telebirr plans to boost its offerings, similar to M-PESA, by introducing loan and savings products. Its network includes 615 service centers, 136 master agents, and 107,300 agents.