ET Switch, a centralized switch system which plans to integrate all real-time and online payment systems in Ethiopia, which started by connecting all the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), has announced that it has completed transaction valued at 1,175,089,410 birr since its launch last May although challenged by high transaction decline rate of 40 percent per month mainly caused by the connection failure and system breakage in its member banks.
According to a report presented by Bizuneh Bekele, CEO of ET Switch, to board members of the national switch system, since it went live, ET Switch has catered for 1,495,735 transactions valued at 1.2 billion birr.
All in all, a total number of 427,732 cardholders have tried to use one of payment facilities connected by the switch system out of it enjoyed a success rate of 352,920 times or 85 percent. Nevertheless, the monthly decline rate is a bit of a challenge to the switch system at 40 percent mainly caused by connection interruption and failure of bank’s inner systems.
The national switch system is owned by all of the 17 banks in Ethiopia including the regulator National Bank of Ethiopia. Although there are switches which came before it, as national switch system ET Switch has connected all of existing switches and payment system in the national payment system.
Five banks—Oromia International Bank, Bunna Bank, Lion Insternational Bank, Debub Global Bank and Enat Bank—have made direct connection to the national switch system without having to invest on a switch system and other technologies. Although these banks still have to buy ATM machines they will directly be connected to the national switch.
Three months ago, the national switch also started issuing its national payment card called Ethio-Pay. Some five banks are currently issuing Ethio-Pay side-by-side their own payment cards. According to Bizuneh, Ethio-Pay will be the only payment card in Ethiopia in the future and it will offer 99 types of different financial services for customers.
Started off at paid-up capital of 80.5 million birr five years ago, ET Switch has now managed to incorporate all the banks and national bank as equal shareholders and raise the paid-up capital to 300 million birr.