BPC Banking Technologies, a world leading provider of payment solutions, announces the launch of the national payment system of Ethiopia, EthSwitch S.C. based on SmartVista. As of today for the first time, all 17 of the countries retail banks are connected together via the unified payment system.
EthSwitch was formed by all the banks in Ethiopia, and with the backing of the Ethiopian Bankers’ Association and the country’s central bank known as the National Bank of Ethiopia. Following the implementation of the full SmartVista suite all the banks’ payments are now centralized.
The key aim of the project was to bring interoperability to the country, as a result clients of any Ethiopian retail bank may access services via all the ATMs in the country for cash withdrawals, make POS payments in any terminal and utilize cheque balancing. With SmartVista as the core of the whole system this has also enabled smaller banks to issue and acquire cards on their own and in addition benefit from outsourced processing.
Ato Bizuneh Bekele, CEO of EthSwitch S.C., said “All connected member banks now benefit from interoperability as well as providing a new level of convenience and access to Ethiopian citizens, merchants, and organizations. As a result of our relationship with BPC Banking Technologies, it became obvious that the new system, powered by SmartVista, that the Ethiopian financial ecosystem will find new levels of efficiency, availability and accessibility while also significantly reducing the levels of cash usage. Currently the system integrates over 1500 ATMS, over 13,000 POS-terminals, and 2.5 million cardholders all over the country. These numbers are expected to grow further due to the ease of use to Banks' customers and hence the demand that the interoperability which just went operational will create. We aim to use this foundation to launch further e-Payment services so as to bring about greater financial inclusion to Ethiopia”, adds Ato Bizuneh.
“With the deployment of SmartVista, we are proud to help drive such a vital project for Ethiopia’s national economy. As of today for the first time all the retail banks in the country are switched to our single processing platform acting as the central core for payments in the country. With interoperability delivered for the first time this will see transaction volumes continue to grow benefiting, consumers, banks and merchants”, says Daryl Berg, MD BPC Banking Technologies, Sub-Sahara Africa.