Ethio Telecom announced that it is going to launch an international digital remittance service through Telebirr in August. The digital remittance to be delivered with the mobile money service has obtained the due license from the National Bank of Ethiopia.
Mesay Woubshet, Chief Communication Officer of the company told Addis Zeybe that Ethio telecom is working with its international partners to provide the service. The new service will allow customers to collect money sent from abroad by using their mobile phones. Both registered and unregistered Telebirr users can receive international remittances.
“International remittances service represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, as it is a unique and powerful source of private capital and external financing. It is designed and executed to mainly benefit the low-income sector of society. Despite the underlying fear that remittances would decline as people around the world suffer job losses and income cuts, the significance of digital remittance would always be relevant to the diaspora.”
According to Solomon Desta, Vice President of Bank Supervision at the National Bank of Ethiopia, remittance service providers are licensed as transfer houses to provide the service to customers either directly by banks via SWIFT or through money transferring agents working in association with banks.
“To protect customers from any fraudulent acts in this service, remittance service providers should reveal terms and tariffs applicable to the remittance service including their correspondent bank, agent fees, and other different types of service they provide. They should indicate the estimated time it will take the money to reach the receiver, facilitate remittance transfer service to their customers and provide the service within 24 hours,” he said.
According to Ethio Telecom’s recent report, there are 9.5 million and growing subscribers of Telebirr with 938 million Br. being transacted through the service. So far, 26,442 agents are providing Telebirr services across the country with 8 banks integrated with the platform.
Telebirr is a mobile money service owned by Ethio Telecom aimed at facilitating the provision of cashless transactions. The services currently provided by Telebirr include airtime purchase, sending and receiving money and balance transfer from some banks, and utility payments.