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5 FinTech companies in Ethiopia diversifying Africa’s digital finance

By Leandra Monteiro

March 16, 2023

  • Arifpay
  • BelCash
  • Chapa
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FinTech, Digital banking, Ethiopia The FinTech industry in Ethiopia has undergone some considerable changes in recent years due to new regulatory changes introduced by the Ethiopian government. In March 2020, the National Bank of Ethiopia issued a new Directive on issuers of payment services, allowing local non-banks, including mobile network operators to offer mobile money services.

While Ethiopia’s FinTech ecosystem is still quite small-scale, the government’s supportive reforms towards promoting a digital economy and favourable market conditions have led to growth in the sector. Here are five FinTech companies in Ethiopia to watch out for:

Arifpay Financial Technologies S.C. is a financial institution licensed by the National Bank of Ethiopia providing digital payment solutions, ArifPOS and ArifGateway.

Arifpay is Ethiopia’s first Point of Sale (POS) Payment System Operator (PSO) with payment solutions for smartphones, POS and QR payment terminals. Arifpay also holds a license to provide payment gateway solutions including utility bills, airtime top-up eCommerce, school fee processing etc.

Arifpay offers innovative, secure and easy-to-implement digital payment solutions for MSME merchants, banks and customers, working through commercial partners.

BelCash International was officially founded in 2010 in the Netherlands. In 2011 BelCash decided to establish itself in Ethiopia, 2nd largest market African market, with 115 million people. Although the Ethiopian Bank sector is still at an early stage, BelCash has successfully deployed its digital banking platform in 4 major banks and 2 microfinances.

BelCash’s Business model is to provide, under the Brand “HelloCash”, its Open API BAnking Solutions to Financial Institutions and monetize it via transactional fees.

BelCash platform made its reputation by providing advanced Banking features allowing the deployment of Agency Banking, Online Banking or full Digital Banking. The platform is perfectly adapted to the Ethiopian context allowing the end-users to access their accounts via channels as diverse as USSD, IVR, social media, debit Cards, QR codes, APs.

Chapa Financial Technologies S.C is an online payment gateway that empowers small businesses and large merchants to accept local or international payments from their customers via our APIs and Chapa’s platform.

The company primarily focuses on securely solving payments-related problems for ambitious businesses and governmental organizations in developing countries, mainly Ethiopia. Chapa offers services in the following areas: Payment Gateway and Bill Aggregator Solutions.

Established in 2010, Kifiya is a technology and services company developing scalable and secured technology platforms. It is a digital finance and payment services provider that leverages innovative technology to build and enable distribution channels that make financial and non-financial services affordable and accessible.

In 2019, Kifiya transitioned into a technology ventures holding company focused on launching an ecosystem of vertically integrated digital businesses across various sectors. It has created an integrated scalable technology-based services infrastructure that provides customer-friendly payment services and enables access to financial and non-financial transactions services.

Telebirr is a mobile money service developed and launched by Ethio telecom, the state-owned telecommunication and Internet service provider in Ethiopia. It took five months to develop the end-to-end service. It facilitates the delivery of cashless transactions.

Ethio telecom telebirr service enables you to deposit, receive, transfer and spend money using your mobile number. With telebirr you can easily conduct cashless transactions and receive international remittances. Additionally, telebirr app allows you to make payments at shops/convenience stores via QR codes, purchase goods and services online/remotely, or even withdraw physical cash at nearby agents.

Also read: Global Digital Banking Vendor & Landscape Report Q1 2024

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