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Mastercard & Cooperative Bank of Oromia Innovative Solutions

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Vusi Melane
Vusi Melane
Staff Writer


Deribie Asfaw, CEO of Cooperative Bank of Oromia, (L) and Mark Elliott, Division President, Africa at Mastercard (R)

The Cooperative Bank of Oromia and Mastercard have announced an innovative collaboration with the introduction of the Coopbank Prepaid Mastercard and the debut of Community Pass technology in Ethiopia. These endeavors are poised to significantly bolster digital and financial inclusion throughout the nation, particularly among Ethiopia’s smallholder farmers.


Pivotal advancement 

The unveiling of the Coopbank Mastercard and the introduction of Community Pass represent a pivotal advancement in Ethiopia’s financial landscape, underpinned by a mutual dedication to innovation and accessibility. The Coopbank Mastercard presents a sophisticated and secure solution for card management, tailored for international travelers, thereby facilitating ease and security in global financial transactions. This prepaid card empowers users to conduct international online purchases, ensuring accessibility and convenience wherever Mastercard is accepted, including various digital platforms and e-commerce sites. Transactions will be seamlessly managed through a dedicated mobile application, offering efficient card management capabilities. This initiative is part of a broader five-year strategic agreement between Mastercard and the Cooperative Bank of Oromia, aimed at expanding financial services and stimulating economic growth within the region.

The implementation of Mastercard’s Community Pass technology signifies a groundbreaking advancement for digital inclusion in rural and underserved areas. Currently operational in five markets globally, Community Pass boasts a user base exceeding five million individuals. One of its digital services, Farm Pass, facilitates the connection of farmers and agricultural cooperatives to the agricultural marketplace and financial services, even in offline settings.

Transactions of over $1.4 million

Thus far, Mastercard and the Cooperative Bank of Oromia have successfully onboarded and provided Farm Pass services to over 11,000 farmers, 16 primary farmer cooperatives, and 4 cooperative unions in Ethiopia. Through this platform, transactions totaling more than $1.4 million have occurred between smallholder farmers and primary cooperatives, with over 9,200 transactions facilitated by the service.

The Cooperative Bank of Oromia has outlined plans to expand and promote the adoption of Community Pass technology across coffee, barley, wheat, and poultry value chains.

Leveraging the power of technology

CEO for Cooperative Bank of Oromia, Deribie Asfaw, says “With the launch of the Coopbank Mastercard and deployment of Community Pass, our collaboration with Mastercard will revolutionize how our customers experience our services. Leveraging the power of technology, we aim to address the unique needs of our customers from farmers to consumers and businesses, empowering them to thrive and contribute to the economy. As a digital-first bank, our collaboration reinforces our dedication to user-centric solutions and our commitment to innovative and cutting-edge services, offering our customers secure and adaptable financial tools for a seamless journey.  We are committed to staying at the forefront of innovation to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

Digital transformation

Division President for Africa at Mastercard, Mark Elliot, says “Our mission is to empower individuals, businesses, and communities across Ethiopia with innovative solutions that enhance financial inclusion, drive digital transformation, and ultimately improve lives. Our collaboration with the Cooperative Bank of Oromia supports Ethiopia in advancing economic development and achieving inclusive prosperity. This aligns with Mastercard’s vision of integrating one billion individuals into the digital economy through digital and financial inclusion initiatives. We are delighted to support Ethiopia in its journey of transformative growth and development and achievement of the Digital Ethiopia vision.”

The collaborative endeavors between Mastercard and the Cooperative Bank of Oromia underscore a concerted push to effect significant change in the lives of millions. Their focus on economic inclusion and utilization of technology to address the varied needs of Ethiopia’s populace lays the groundwork for a more prosperous economic trajectory in the future.

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