ethio telecom announced that it is finalizing preparations to launch an international remittance service system shortly via its mobile money service – telebirr.
The company made the announcement while it launched 4G LTE advanced service in the southwest region on Thursday, August 2, 2021 in Gambella city.
During the launch ceremony, CEO of ethio telecom, Frehiwot Tamiru said the Company has recently completed the preliminary preparation to launch an international remittance service via telebirr.
Since the company needs a working license from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to engage in such kinds of activities, it has submitted its application to acquire the license and is expected to receive permission from the NBE within a very short period time, Frehiwot said.
Furthermore, she announced that the new service will allow customers collect money sent from abroad by using their mobile phones.
The services provided by telebirr so far include the purchase of airtime, sending and receiving money and receiving payment locally.
In addition to International Remittance Service, Frehiwot said that the company will engage in provision of small loans soon.
It was mentioned that the ultimate goal of providing loans was to reach out to communities that do not have access to financial services from regular commercial banks.
The mobile money service was said to have been designed and executed to mainly benefit the low-income section of society.
The GSMA State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2021, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, described international remittances as a unique and powerful source of private capital and external financing.
According to the 2019 report, total international remittances to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) reached a record of USD 554 billion, more than three times the size of official development assistance (ODA) and, for the first time, surpassed the value of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
International remittances processed via mobile money increased by 65 percent in 2020. For the first time, over USD 1 billion is being sent and received every month. Despite fears that remittances would decline as people around the world suffer job losses and income cuts, it seems clear that the Diaspora around the world continue to use mobile money to come to the aid of those back home, the GSMA report indicated.