Dashen Kicks off Mobile Electronic Payment Service


The electronic service allows customers to conduct purchases through mobile phones




Dashen Bank, one of the nation’s leading private commercial banks, has launched a digital wallet system. The private bank’s electronic service will allow customers to make purchases via their mobile phones.

The service, named Amole after an ancient form of currency used in Ethiopia, was developed by Moneta Technologies, which will operate the system. Moneta is a fintech company fully-owned by Kenya’s Fettan Holdings Limited and is headquartered in Addis Abeba. The Amole application is an electronic payment platform that links consumers, banks and sellers into an electronic payment ecosystem. Customers can access Amole through an application software on their smartphones, or use a four-code SMS system on non-smartphones.

The arrangement between Dashen and Moneta, is based on the number of transactions made and not on volumes. The bank is charged a fixed rate of 1.50 Br for every transaction.

The service was launched at an event held last Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at the Sheraton Addis Hotel. At the event, other firms, including Hidase Telecom, Multichoice Ethiopia, Shoa Supermarket, the book retailer Lomi, Ethiopian Taxi, Zmall Shopping Centre, the social networking firm Meda and SamiDan Music Studio, exhibited their products and services using the Amole digital payment platform.

The ceremony was attended by Michael Joseph, former CEO of Safaricom and founder of  Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile money-transfer service; Asfaw Alemu, president of Dashen Bank; and Yemiru Chanyalew, CEO of Moneta Technologies.

“The measure of success for Amole will be whether it will change the lives of Ethiopians through financial inclusion and make a lasting impact,” said Michael.

Asfaw added that customers will now be able to transact without being physically present at the point of transaction.

“Our customers can now transact at their convenience, easily, safely and affordably, regardless of where they are at any given time,” Asfaw said during the launching ceremony.

Amole allows sellers and the bank’s agents to provide services digitally with mobile point-of-sale (mPOS). This includes paying for utility bills, airline ticketing and making person-to-person transfers without the use of paper moneye, or being physically present at the point of sale.

“We are enabling sustainable e-commerce where other service providers can integrate through Amole’s digital payment platforms, ” said Yemiru.

The expansion of this technology is important to secure smoother transactions and reduce the risk associated with carrying cash around, according to Wondwossen Bogale (PhD), director of University-Industry Linkage & Technology Transfer at Addis Abeba University.

“Slow and interrupted internet connections would create a burden on the system,” he adds.

Dashen Bank recently upgraded its core banking system with a 140 million Br investment and began interest-free banking (IFB). The bank also installed a new board this year and elected Neway Beyene, general manager of Afcor, as its chairperson.

One of the oldest private banks in Ethiopia, established in 1996, Dashen netted 756 million Br in the 2016/17 fiscal year and grew its capital to 1.93 billion Br. It has 837 point of sales (PoS), 350 automated teller machines (ATM) and 1.7 million account holders.

 



By MADEBO GIRMA
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Jul 21,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 951]


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