Ethiopia Grants Licence of Mobile Banking for Foreign Owned Investment Company

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has been given the power to grant licenses to payment system operators under National Payment System Proclamation No 718/2011 and its Amendment Proclamation No 1282/2023. Article 6(8) of the Amendment Proclamation, for instance, provides that ‘ foreign nationals and Ethiopian organizations fully owned by foreign nationals shall engage in a payment instrument issuer and/or payment system operator business through raising capital fully paid in foreign currency’. Upon satisfaction by a full and complete application process, the NBE shall grant license or authorization for operating the payment system. Following these Proclamations, on May 11,2023, the NBE announced the granting of a payment instrument issuer license to a foreign investor, the first of its kind. The license is given to Safaricom M-Pesa Mobile Financial Services Private Limited Company. This company is a subsidiary of Safaricom Telecommunication Ethiopia Private Limited Company.