Awash to Adopt Mastercard Partnership

Awash International Bank (AIB) has become the second private bank in Ethiopia, after Dashen Bank, to distribute MasterCard and branded payment cards to its clients.

The Bank – which entered the private banking industry after being licensed in November 1994 as the first private commercial bank, with 24.2 million Br capital and 486 founding members – has been certified as the principal member for accepting MasterCard branded cards by MasterCard International, as of March 18, 2014.

MasterCard is one of the major credit cards used regularly by people in the United States, second only in name recognition and worldwide billings to Visa, according to information from the MasterCard website. By marketing itself to ordinary men and women, in contrast to Visa’s efforts to capture an upper-income clientele, MasterCard is slowly chipping away at Visa’s market share in both the United States and other areas around the globe.

Awash became qualified as a principal member for accepting Mastercard branded cards, after going through business and technical compliance requirements, according to Tsehay Shiferaw, president of the Bank.

The official membership letter, along with the key exchange required for making the MasterCard International Network accessible for MasterCard branded cards at Awash’s Point of Sales (PoS) terminal and ATMs through Premium Switch Solutions S.C.(PSS), which has also been certified as a Third Party Payment Processor, was handed over to Tsehay Shiferaw, president of the Bank, by James Wainaina, vice president amp Area Business head for MasterCard East Africa, at the Bank’s headquarters on Ras Abebe Aregay Street, on March 18,2014.

“I cannot tell you a definite date, but the service will be launched very soon,” Tsehay told Fortune.

The service could be accessed for customers with MasterCard through the Bank’s ATM machines, Fortune learnt.

The Bank says it is working closely with MasterCard East Africa to launch the system. The Bank’s staff has already been trained by the MasterCard East Africa on payment settlement and management in the new system.

“The launching of the service is part of Awash’s endeavour to meet customers’ demands by investing more in innovative technologies,” Tsehay said.

MasterCard sees Cash as the biggest competitor, rather than other global payment solution companies, and is among the leading global payment solutions companies committed to building a payment ecosystem where Cards replace physical cash. This will enable faster, more secure and reliable payments, according to its official website.

Awash, whose profit after tax grew by 11.3pc by June 30, 2013, according to its annual audited report, recorded profits close to 72pc. The Bank’s 438.61 million Br profit is far superior to that of newer banks.

The number of shareholders and paid-up capital has currently reached over 3,000 and 1.4 billion Br, respectively. Since July 2013, the Bank has opened 21 new branches, raising the total number of branches to 136 by end of February 2014. The oldest private Bank has also started installing an additional 100 ATMs and 400 POS terminals. This is on top of 60 ATMs and 300 POS terminals already deployed jointly with the NIB International Bank S.C and United Bank S.C.

Source : Addis Fortune

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