ETHIOPIA – The National Bank of Ethiopia has formally granted a mobile money licence to Kacha Digital Financial Services S.C., making it the first private company to hold such a license.
Kacha, which has a registered capital of 200 million Birr (US$3.80m), heralds the start of a new era for expanded private sector involvement in the framework of the country’s digital financial services.
Kacha was built over the course of three and a half years with the help of both international and Ethiopian developers.
The Kacha mobile money platform aims to open up opportunities for users by giving them access to secure, convenient, and cost-effective digital financial services that promote sustainable growth, expand financial inclusion, and enhance citizens’ quality of life.
More than 30,000 agent networks across the entire nation will be able to offer cashless transactions through the Kacha mobile money platform.
Opening wallet accounts, cashing in and out, microsaving, uncollateralized microcredits, microinsurance, direct payments, bill payments, international remittance, fund transfers, airtime top-up, card payments, and other cutting-edge services are among the services offered.
Angesom Teklay, the company’s founder and driving force, is the founder of Kacha. Angesom is a young serial entrepreneur who has invested in a number of startups, including Hulugram, a Telegram-based multipurpose messaging software.
Additionally, he has launched other tech firms in Africa, including the internet service provider Linknet and the company Aidu, which specialises in ICT (Telecom) Infrastructure, software development and maintenance, and Information Systems Solutions.
There are 13 shareholders in the locally designed mobile money platform. Tewodros Ashenafi, the founder and chairman of the Ethiopian holding company SouthWest Holdings Ltd.
As well as the chairman of Ambo Mineral Water, is one of them. Haile Leul Tamiru, co-founder of HST Consulting Plc, is also listed as a shareholder in Kacha.
Abraham Tilahun has been named the founding CEO of Kacha Digital Financial Service, and the National Bank of Ethiopia has also approved the nomination of seven board members.
Kacha is slated to host an introduction session for participants, partners, and stakeholders in the financial services sector later this month.
Up until recently, Telebirr was the only mobile money platform operated by a non-financial firm, and the state-owned Ethio Telecom was the first to obtain a mobile money license from National Bank.
The telebirr digital payment platform has over 21 million users, 89 master agents, over 73 thousand agents, and over 21,000 merchants as of July 19, 2022, having transacted 25 billion Birr (US$475.39m) in electronic currency.