Kenya: Safaricom Pays Sh20.5 Billion for M-Pesa Licence in Ethiopia
Nairobi — Safaricom has paid a total of Sh20.5 billion ($150 million) to get a mobile financial services licence from the Ethiopian government.
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa confirmed that the amount is a one-off payment, meaning the telco will not be required to pay additional fees.
“We have paid $150 million to be able to acquire the licence. We always considers this as part of one off licence. It does not require us to pay any other licence going forward,” Ndegwa said while releasing the firm’s 2022-23 financial results in Nairobi.
“We are going to be regulated in the same way that we are regulated in Kenya in terms of a payment instrument issuer,” the CEO added.
Early this morning, the telco was granted the Payment Instrument Issuer Licence by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBK) to offer M-Pesa services in the Horn of Africa country.
The licence will allow it to tap the country’s over 100 million populations, with a majority of them still underserved and unserved.
It became the first foreign entity to be granted a licence by the state.
With the new licence, the telco will now be able to offer services such as mobile banking, mobile wallets, internet banking, and card banking.
“And I know that the National Bank of Ethiopia is already preparing for issuing the detailed credentials guidelines about how we operate,” Ndegwa said.
“But based on what we have seen they are largely similar to the other markets where our mobile money is operating.”