Telebirr starts remittance service.

November 21, 2021

telebirr, Ethio Telecom’s mobile money service, has launched remittance services, allowing users to receive money sent from overseas straight to their telebirr wallets. Money can currently be sent to Ethiopia from 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany, using the state-owned telecom operator telebirr’s remittance service, which allows both registered and unregistered telebirr clients to receive cross-border money transfers. To ease fund transfers to Ethiopia, Ethio telecom teamed with Thune’s, a Singapore-based global payments network, and Remitly, a US-based online money transfer service provider. The latest development comes after Ethio telecom got approval from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to begin international remittances using its mobile money platform two months ago. Since its introduction in March 2021, one of the main goals of telebirr has been to provide remittance services, as well as modest loans, online savings accounts, and insurance services, all of which have yet to be implemented. Customers can freely transfer received remittance funds to their bank accounts, but if they choose to cash out the money, they will be limited to a daily cash out limit of up to 50,000 birr, depending on their telebirr account level. When an unregistered customer receives a remittance, a notification is delivered to encourage them to register for the telebirr service. The transfers are returned if the receiver does not register within 30 days. Telebirr, which was developed in collaboration with Huawei, a Chinese telecoms equipment firm, has over 10 million subscribers and has handled over 2 billion Ethiopian birr ($42 million) in transaction value. Ten commercial banks have already incorporated telebirr into their main banking systems, allowing account holders to send money to their telebirr wallets. On the other hand, money transfers from the telebirr wallet to six commercial banks are possible. In 2022, Ethio telecom, which had a net profit of 5.93 billion birr in the first quarter of the Ethiopian fiscal year, will face off against Safaricom Ethiopia for the first time. Safaricom paid 850 million dollars for the entrance license and expects to start operations in mid-2022. It has negotiated infrastructure development arrangements with Nokia and Huawei.

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