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Safaricom has launched its mobile money platform, M-PESA, in Ethiopia. With M-PESA, customers can send money, make merchant and bill payments, purchase airtime and data bundles, monitor airtime usage, and withdraw funds.

The launch comes on the heels of Safaricom Ethiopia being granted the Payment Instrument Issuer License by the National Bank of Ethiopia, a milestone achieved just three months ago after the telecom operator paid 150 million dollars.

M-PESA boasts an innovative offline mode, expenditure tracking feature, and security of biometric authentication for transactions. M-PESA is also a super app, encompassing various mini-apps such as Guzo Go and Tikus to enhance user experience.

How to use M-PESA in Ethiopia?

All Safaricom Ethiopia customers are automatically entitled to access the comprehensive range of services offered by M-PESA. To initiate the service or register, customers can dial *733# on their Safaricom line, regardless of whether they are using Android or iOS devices. Presently, the M-PESA app is available in five languages for Android devices through the Play Store, with an iOS version slated for release in the coming weeks.

M-PESA enters a dynamic a mobile money market dominated by Ethio Telecom‘s telebirr, which was launched over two years ago. As of the end of the 2015 Ethiopian fiscal year telebirr has garnered an impressive 34.3 million subscribers, facilitating transactions totaling 679.2 billion birr.

In addition, last week, Kacha Digital Financial Service, a private mobile money service provider, received official approval from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to launch full-scale commercial operations, introducing more competition into the landscape.

M-Pesa serves over 51 million customers across seven African countries. In Kenya, it has been instrumental in fostering financial inclusion, boasting a user base of more than 38 million and a commanding 96.5% share of the mobile money market.

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