The National Bank of Ethiopia has issued a revised Payment Instrument Issuer Directive for mobile money providers (payment instrument issuers). The Directive has been improved to create a more enabling regulatory framework that promotes competition and innovation.
The Directive is instrumental for expanding mobile money services and digital payment solutions that will support financial inclusion while keeping appropriate safeguards for consumer protection. A well-functioning mobile money service can reduce transaction costs, facilitate e-commerce, enhance the security of financial transactions, and minimize the amount of currency in circulation. Mobile money services can also help reach communities that are currently unserved and underserved by formal financial institutions.
Among others, the revised Directive :
• Provides detailed requirements for foreign mobile money service providers in line with the National Payment System Proclamation (amendment) No.1282/2023.
• Raises the daily electronic account balance limit from Birr 30,000 to 75,000.
• Introduces a new daily aggregate transaction limit of Birr 150,000, to keep up with market developments, while exempting certain transactions—such as utility, tax, airline ticket, fuel, and bulk payments—from these limits.
• Allows mobile money service providers to facilitate additional services such as capital market products;
• Enables banks to establish subsidiaries focused on providing mobile money services;
• Strengthens the corporate governance rules governing payment instrument issuers.
The National Bank of Ethiopia will continue to take significant steps to build a modern, secure, inclusive, and competitive digital payment ecosystem in line with the National Digital Payment Strategy (2021-24). The ultimate aim is to create a stable financial system that provides every citizen with access to a diverse array of financial services that, in turn, help propel economic growth and widespread improvement in standards of living.