State-owned Ethio Telecom released three new mobile financial services, a move to remain competitive against Safaricom which recently set up a base in the formerly closed-off Ethiopian market.
The products were developed in collaboration with Dashen Bank. The first is Telebirr Mela a credit service that provides loans of up to ETB2,000 (US$37) per day, and up to ETB 10,000 per month. Second, is Tele birr Endekise, a service that enables overdrafts of up to ETB2,000 per day. Last is Telebirr Kuteba, a savings account with interest payments or without, reported the Addis Standard.
Rival Safaricom already offers financial services through its popular mobile money platform M-Pesa, which is expected to be rolled out in Ethiopia soon. The company is turning on its network this month in phases and recently appointed group chairman Michael Joseph to the helm of the new unit.
Ethio Telecom Firehiwot Tamiru noted at the launch of the new services that there is plenty of room for growth through financial services as 60% of the population does not own a smartphone in Ethiopia.
Currently, Ethio Telecom has 67.2 million customers, which Tamiru claimed makes Ethio telecom the second largest telecom operator in Africa and 25th globally.