Visa Inc, the leading global payments technology company, has affirmed its commitment to expanding digital payments in Ethiopia by working closely with the financial ecosystem to bring the benefits of digital commerce and money movement to consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government partners.
Marking a one-year anniversary since opening its Addis Ababa office, the company announced a series of partnerships during its inaugural Ethiopian Visa Payments Forum. The event brought together key stakeholders from the digital payments industry to explore opportunities to further advance Ethiopia's growing payments ecosystem.
Over the past year, Visa has been building and strengthening partnerships and agreements that will accelerate digital payments, including:
- An agreement with Ethiopian Airlines to launch a co-branded card to ShebaMiles members across the Continent.
- An agreement and introduction with Bank of Abyssinia and Dashen Bank/Moneta (Amole) Technologies focused on supporting eCommerce growth and enabling wider acceptance of digital payments.
- A partnership with leading fintech Kifiya Financial Technology, providing local digital payments across mobile and online payments.
- Partnership with BelCash Technologies that will support the development of cross-border payment solutions for the East-African financial institutions and helping grow eCommerce to unlock the country's digital potential.
- Licensing partnership with Cooperative bank & Oromia International Bank.
In addition to partnerships, Visa outlined two previously announced initiatives to drive financial inclusion and job creation within Ethiopia with STEMPower, and to support the development of innovative fintechs with its Visa Everywhere Initiative.
"At Visa, we are extremely pleased to have a local presence in one of the most exciting countries in Africa, and to have established strong partnerships to help enable digital commerce. We are excited to support the goals of the Ethiopian economy, where financial inclusion will play an important part in the overall growth journey. We see great tremendous opportunity and are committed to playing our part in bringing more people into the financial system and supporting economic progress," said Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President & Head of Visa in Sub Saharan Africa.
As a sign of commitment to the digital transformation agenda, the Ethiopian government outlined Ethiopia's first Digital Transformation Strategy, in June 2020, followed by a series of regulations for its implementation including the proclamation on Electronic Transactions.
"Fast-tracking digitization of payments has multiple benefits for Ethiopians. Enhanced digital infrastructure enables support to local people and small businesses to enjoy the fast, seamless and secure payment experiences that we know are so important. Digitizing payments can also play an important part in driving economic inclusion, which underpins sustained economic growth," added Diarra.