Ethiopia’s sole telecommunication provider, Ethio Telecom has announced the launch of payment services for prepaid mobile recharging. The service allows customers to recharge their mobile airtime online. The new system has been made available to customers across the telecom’s 214 service centres, while the existing manual payment system will remain functional.
The electronic payment system is expected to alleviate the shortage of scratch card vouchers and reduce forex costs for their procurement, according to Abdurahim Ahmed, corporate communications manager of Ethio Telecom.
The new system helps to address shortage of recharge cards as well as to reduce foreign exchange spent to print cards abroad, said Ahemd.
Customers have so far been using manual recharging system. They recharge their mobile phone by scratching the hidden numbers on 5, 10, 25 and 100 birr recharge cards.
Ahemd said the manual system will continue side by side with the electronic one.
This service will be accessible in around 3,000 of the telecom’s service distributors in a few months. The state-owned Ethio telecom, which operates in one of Africa’s few non-liberalised telecom markets, it has 58 million mobile subscribers.
In September 2017, Ethio Telecom launched a system that prohibited individuals from getting more than five SIM cards under their name in a bid to prevent theft and crimes in the telecom industry.
Ethio telecom’s Ahmed said that the system helped the company to control fraud in the mobile telecom service.
Ahmed further said that as part of the efforts to prevent crimes; the company is using only its shops and legal agents to sell SIM cards through electronics payment system.