Ethiopia: Abyssinia Bank Launches Mobile Remittance App

opinion

Developer says the app is the first of its kind in Ethiopia

Abyssinia Bank launched a new app which enables its customers send and receive money from abroad online in a ceremony held at Hyatt Regency.

The 24 years old bank disclosed the new platform will allow users get remittance services at an affordable rate.

It is also expected to ease the process of sending and receiving money in Ethiopia, which has prompted many to shift to informal channels.

Previously, Abyssinia inked a strategic partnership agreement with VISA and later acquired Visa CyberSource payment gateway, which enabled businesses accept online payments using credit cards.

The new app is amongst digital products launched by the Bank as parts of its effort to capitalize on the untapped digital market in Ethiopia.

"People of Ethiopian descent, Ethiopian Diaspora and Ethiopians will be able to send money to their loved ones using the app on their smart phone," said Abay Sime, Director of Online Banking Department at Bank of Abyssinia.

The app, which is called CashGO, is the first of its kind, according to the developing company, which is owned by Tedros Shiferaw, who is also the owner of Nahoo TV, Golden Coffee Roastery, Rosetta Real Estate and other establishments, including hotels.

"The service fee for the new app is just 1.5 percent of the principal, which reaches as high as 10 percent in case of other wire transfer companies. So the app will save a lot of forex for both senders and the country," said Tedros, who claims his company invested 100 million Birr on the app, a figure which the Reporter has not verified.

Using the app, customers of Abyssinia can send between one dollar and USD 15,000 and recipients will be able to receive the money instantly in their account, he explained.

"We also expect the new app to encourage people use the formal channel and it is also expected to ease the challenges faced by the Diaspora community that is trying to collect funds to help people living in Ethiopia," said Abay.

On October 2020, Abyssinia partnered with KOBIL Systems GmbH and launched a mobile app that verifies user's digital identity.

The APP, named BOA 2FA (Two Factor Authentication), is used for authentication, transaction authorization, and digital signature, which enable users to login to their account and perform secure digital banking transactions. During the same period, it has also inaugurated virtual banking system, which is said to be the first of its kind.

One of the biggest banks in Ethiopia, Abyssinia grossed one billion Birr profit during the last fiscal year, while its shareholders have invested over 3.1 billion Birr paid-up capital so far. It has more than 2.6 million customers across the country.

The total forex earnings of the Bank during the last fiscal year stood at 400.3 million dollars, portraying a 16.8 percent increase compared to 2018/19. Incoming transfer and export accounted for 52.1 percent and 33.5 percent of its forex earnings, respectively, while the rest comes from cash, digital, dealings and interest on correspondent banks.

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