Central Bank Rolls Out $150m License Fee for Mobile Money Operators

Feb 25 , 2023


International mobile money operators will be required to pay a staggering 150 million dollar license fee as the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) put forth a draft proposal signed by the director of the Payment and Settlement System. According to the draft, the fee is an investment protection cost for foreign nationals investing in businesses that are open only to local investors or the government. The status of Safaricom's application to introduce mobile money services is now open for discussion. The Kenyan telecommunications service provider Safaricom has expressed its interest in expanding the use of its mobile money service, M-Pesa, in Ethiopia. Unfortunately, it was prohibited from providing money-remittance services due to legal restrictions. Allowing for bigger electronic account balances and higher transaction limits, the new regulation raises the amount that can be stored in digital wallets. A maximum daily electronic account balance of 10,000 Br and a daily transaction cap of 20,000 Br apply to level one accounts, while a 300,000 Br cap and a maximum electronic balance of 100,000 Br is allowed for level two accounts.


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