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Hibret Bank and Mastercard Launch Prepaid Hibir Mastercard

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Vusi Melane
Vusi Melane
Staff Writer


H Hibir
Mark Elliott, Division President, Africa at Mastercard (L), and Ato Melaku Kebede, Chief Executive Officer of Hibret Bank (R)

Hibret Bank, in collaboration with Mastercard, has announced the launch of Prepaid Hibir Mastercard services, marking a significant milestone in Ethiopia’s journey towards financial digitization. This innovative service aims to provide customers with unparalleled convenience and security in international card banking experiences. It enables them to access and utilize foreign currency for overseas travels and international transactions wherever Mastercard is accepted.

Dual interface

The Prepaid Hibir Mastercard features a dual-interface supporting both contact and contactless transactions, making it a convenient financial tool for ATM withdrawals and point-of-sale purchases. Additionally, the card offers a reloadable feature, allowing customers to top up funds at any Hibret Bank branch as needed. This provides a secure and user-friendly solution to meet the evolving needs of customers engaging in foreign trade, travel, and other cross-border transactions.

Innovation and collaboration

Chief Executive Officer of Hibret Bank, Ato Melaku Kebede emphasized the Bank’s commitment to innovation and collaboration, “At Hibret Bank, strategic alliances and technology are not just part of our operations; they are what drive us forward. Launching the Prepaid Hibir Mastercard in collaboration with Mastercard is a testament to this, marking a significant step towards our mission of digital financial inclusion. By leveraging our in-house technological capabilities for projects like our mobile banking app and core banking system upgrades, we not only foster local innovation but also enhance our service security and customer experience. We owe our success to trusted partners like Premier Switch Solution (PSS), whose support for the Prepaid Hibir Mastercard launch is noteworthy. PSS’s integrated electronic payment platform has allowed us to pioneer card banking services, ensuring Hibret Bank remains a beacon of empowerment and progress in the Ethiopian banking sector.”

Financial inclusion and digitization

Senior Vice President and Country Manager for East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands for Mastercard, Shehryar Ali highlighted the importance of this alliance, “Our collaboration with Hibret Bank for the Prepaid Hibir Mastercard service is a reflection of our commitment to fostering financial inclusion and digitization not just in Ethiopia, but across Africa. This service is more than just a payment solution; it is a bridge for Ethiopians to access the global market with ease and security.”

Empowering economic transformation in Africa

Divisional President, Africa for Mastercard, Mark Elliott added emphasis on the continental impact of this joint effort, “This initiative with Hibret Bank underscores Mastercard’s ongoing effort to empower economic transformation across Africa. By introducing secure and convenient digital payment solutions like the Prepaid Hibir Mastercard, we are opening up a world of possibilities for consumers and businesses alike, fostering a more inclusive and prosperous Africa.”

The introduction of the Prepaid Hibir Mastercard is supported by Premier Switch Solutions, Ethiopia’s trusted third-party processor facilitating electronic transactions among banks, including Hibret Bank. This ensures a secure and efficient experience for users.

Access to financial services

Group CEO for Premier Switch Solutions, Amha Tadesse says, “We are delighted to power seamless and secure transactions for Hibret Bank, leveraging our robust payment switch infrastructure. With financial inclusion on the rise in Ethiopia, we are committed to providing an efficient and reliable service for both Mastercard and Hibret Bank. Together, we aim to continue fostering increased access to financial services and growth in the industry, empowering individuals and businesses across the region.”

The initiative not only aims to enhance customer banking experiences and support the growth of digital financial services, but it also contributes significantly to the national economy by promoting financial inclusion in Ethiopia, which currently stands at 46% and aims for 70% by 2025.  It reflects both Hibret Bank and Mastercard’s dedication to providing reliable and efficient services that meet the dynamic demands of customers.

Hibret Bank and Mastercard have previously joined forces to revolutionize the Ethiopian digital market with the launch of Hibir e-commerce. This innovative digital payment platform enables local businesses and retailers to tap into the global market by accepting international card payments for online purchases. Leveraging Mastercard Gateway, Hibir e-commerce not only facilitates secure and seamless transactions for shoppers but also expedites foreign currency settlements for merchants, facilitating vital foreign exchange into the country and broadening Ethiopia’s participation in the digital global economy.

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