A fintech company launched last week, a month after securing licenses from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE). Arifpay Financial Technologies has been operational as a digital payment service operator in partnership with Abay Bank and the Information Network Security Agency (INSA). It provides digital payment services for utility bills, airtime top-up e-commerce, and school fees on smartphones, Point Of Sale (POS) and QR payment terminals. The company was incorporated two years ago with 140 million Br capital, raised from 40 shareholders. Bernard Laurendeau, CEO of Arifpay, expressed the ambition to reach the unbanked 75pc population characterised by low deposit mobilisation that translates into minimal loan provisions. At the launching event held at Sheraton Addis, Belete Mola, minister for Innovation & Technology; Nigusu Tilahun, state minister for Labour & Skills; Yilebes Addis, CEO of EthSwitch, and representatives from the central bank, discussed how the service would help ensure the federal government’s digital strategy. Nigusu said that the Ministry has partnered with Arifpay to reduce unemployment in the next three years, creating job opportunities for 14 million people. “There are two million job seekers annually,” he said. ArifPay signed a partnership agreement with Abay Bank two years ago to implement a mobile POS system and INSA to provide an app-based bill payment platform with the moniker Derash.