Technology- assisted platforms for easy, effective financial system

BY DANIEL ALEMAYEHU

In the world of globalization, technology plays the key role in connecting and making life easy to the people of the world. In this regard, companies that are working on telecommunication have been reforming themselves and creating new ideas to be a step closer to their customers.

Ethio Telecom is a kind of a textbook example to reform itself and create number of opportunities to sell itself to its customers. The company has provided services for the past 128 years which makes it one of the oldest telecom companies in the world. It is previously reported that the state owned company sold its share to the international company named Safaricom. As the nation is on its way to become the beacon of prosperity, the company has been acting as a catalyst on the overall development of the nation. Ethio telecom has shown its muscle on changes and reforms along with providing multiple platforms to make its products at the door steps of its customers. It is not long ago when the company introduced 5G network in the country.

The state owned company uncovers its annual performance. The report covers activities from July 2021 to 30 June 2022. In its report, it is stated that the company has taken its share to support the nation’s development. It is important to remember that the company has expanded its services and infrastructures to help the community as a whole. In this regard, it is witnessed that new, compatible and quality services have been forwarded to the community.

The report also stated that the company has gone through various ups and downs both internally and externally. However, it has been striving and working hard to overcome those hurdles and become competent in the fast and dynamic world of telecommunications.

Ethio telecom started the fiscal year with its three years BRIDGE growth strategy. The strategy also coupled with the company’s plan set in 2021/22 to realize the dream to become a preferred telecom among customers and partners, the report stated.

It is the fact that within few months, Ethiopia will have two telecom operators that will provide services. To this end, Ethio Telecom is aware of the upcoming competitive market. Therefore, the company has set achievable objective to hit its strikes. These objectives are focusing on preparing the company for competitive market, enhancing customer experiences and satisfaction through ensuring operational excellence; deploying new and enhancement of infrastructure and systems, service availability, quality and affordability; effective resource utilization and enhancing financial capacity. In addition, the company looks over to leadership and staff capacity building and empowerment and building reputable brands.

The report disclosed that Ethio Telecom has secured a total of 61.3 Billion ETB revenue which is 87.6 percent of the target and 8.5 percent increment from the previous budget year. Due to the crises in the North and in some other parts of the country, the company resulted in service outage in 3473 sites. For this reason, the company could not meet its target. “Even with all these challenges that we are struggling with as a nation, the registered achievement is remarkable.” the report stated.

The registered achievement, as to the report, is met through network and system expansion and optimization works to enhance customer experience and satisfaction; by offering 67 new and 77 refurbished local and international products and services.

The report says, “The revenue share when described in terms of service types shows 51 percent share for mobile voice, 27 percent for data and internet, 10 percent for international business and 5.7 percent for value added services and 6.6 percent for other services. During the period, 146.6 Million USD was generated in foreign currency scoring 82.3 percent of the target.”

In the international world, it is obvious that people use their mobile phones to do many activities. Sharing the experience, in May 11, 2021, Ethio Telecom has introduced a mobile money business under the name of ‘Telebirr’. This platform, on other report of the company, aims at delivering best mobile based services to its customers. Besides, its main focus is to provide financial services to low- income citizens and rural people who could not access to banking services.

It has been 14 months since Telebirr started its operation. The platform can be accessed by over 22 million customers within short period of time. The total transaction done by the platform valued over 32 billion Birr. In addition, the platform is used for remittance, and registered a total of one million USD. More than 55 service providing companies are working with Ethio Telecom under the Telebirr platform to integrate their payment system. Companies such as Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Electric Utility, and Water and Sewerage Services of various towns, Ministry of Transport and Logistics, Traffic Management Agency, Immigration and Vital Services Agency, Addis Ababa Revenue Authority are among the service providers.

Likewise, Ethio Telecom recently launched digital financial services in collaboration with Dashen bank SC. Ethio Telecom has been doing its best to stretch its services to the not- served part of the society.

The report highlighted, “Telebirr expanding its horizon of service now launches its economically impactful digital financial services: Micro loan, Overdraft and Micro saving services in partnership with Dashen Bank as per the permit given by the National Bank of Ethiopia with letter reference number FIS/PSSD/218/2022 dated August 01, 2022.”

Like its partner, Ethio Telecom, Dashen bank is one of the pioneer private banks in Ethiopia. As the bank is performing at the highest level, the two companies have reached an agreement to provide easy and convenient digital financial services.

In partnership with Dashen Bank, Ethio Telecom offers three financial services dubbed telebirrmela (micro credit) a service that allows individual customers, agents and merchants to borrow money for any transaction or withdrawal. The second service is telebirrEndekise (credit pay/overdraft service). It is a service that enables customers to borrow money when they are short of balance in their Telebirr account while making transaction. The third platform is telebirrsanduq (Micro Saving service). It is a saving service which is available with interest free and interest rate based micro saving services.

It is stated that the aforementioned services are new and unique in providing both micro loan and overdraft services without the need for collaterals. The system is supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) enable credit scoring system that takes the telecom usage and Telebirr transaction of the customers into consideration.

“Ethio Telecom targeted to serve more than 12.8 Million unique customers within first year of operation with total transaction volume of 108 Million and transaction value of Birr 19.5 Billion,” the report announced.

“The Launching of Telebirr digital financial service, which is expected to have paramount effect in ensuring economic inclusion of the wider community, reinforces our company’s commitment and contribution to the realization of digital Ethiopia. Our company will step up its effort to bring new technologies and services that have wide range of impact on our society,” the report concluded.

THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD THURSDAY 11 AUGUST 2022

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