Ethio Telecom stated that 192.1 million ETB (about 3.6 million USD at the current rate) is deposited so far in its recently launched Telebirr Sanduq micro saving service. 

The state-owned telecom operator also disclosed in its three years strategic plan that it has given out a total loan of 157.9 million ETB (about 3 million USD) in its Telebirr Mela micro-credit, and 23,199,552 ETB (about 441,056 USD) in its Telebirr Endekise overdraft service until September for customers subscribed for the service.

Ethio Telcom’s mobile money service Telebirr issued the mentioned amounts of loans and collected deposits just in less than two months.

In addition to its initial services of airtime purchase, sending and receiving money, balance transfer from banks, and utility payments, Telebirr included integrated digital financial services in its mobile money in August.

The new digital financial services include Telebirr Endekise (Telebirr pocket), an overdraft service; Telebirr Mela (Telebirr Solution), a microcredit service; and Telebirr Sanduq (Telebirr box) is a saving scheme.

It is also reported that the number of Telebirr customers reached 24 million with a transaction amount of 65.6 billion ETB (about 1.2 billion USD) and 1.2 million USD of international remittance.

Telebirr aimed to reach 32.6 million subscribers in June 2023

According to the National Bank of Ethiopia, there are more than 43 million mobile money users in the country.

Safaricom Ethiopia which became the first licensed private telecom operator also plans to launch its popular mobile money service M-Pesa. However, Addis Zeybe reported in April that Safaricom Ethiopia is waiting for the National Bank of Ethiopia’s directive to be revised to launch the mobile money service. 

Safaricom is poised to be a business rival to the state giant Ethio Telecom as it commenced its network services last month in 8 cities including Dire Dawa and Bahir Dar. The network is planned to be activated in 24 further cities around the country, including Addis Ababa, until April 2023.

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