Point of Sale (Pos) Interoperability Project on Pilot in Ethiopia

The Point of Sale project was submitted to the central bank at the beginning of February by Eth-Switch, and accepted the application two weeks after the request by the regulator. Following seven months of pilot testing held at Unity Park, Fresh Corner, Shoa Shopping Center, Yod Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant and Safe Way Supermarket, PoS interoperability goes live at the end of this month.

The banks which participated during the pilot were Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), Awash Bank, Bank of Abyssinia (BoA) and Dashen Bank. With a unit price of 500 dollars, the nation has close to 10,000 PoS terminals, half of which are owned by the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). The 17 commercial banks already have 15 million cards issued by them.

According to Fikru Woldetensie, Director of Marketing and Innovation at EthSwitch, which was founded in 2011 with a paid-up capital of 80 million Br., 8,000 to 9,000 Br. worth of transactions were made per month during the pilot era. Four years ago, the firm introduced Automated Teller Machines (ATM) interoperability. However , the  spread of the Novel Coronavirus has challenged the pilot process.

At the successful completion of the pilot project, anyone who holds a payment card issued by any bank can now make payments at any Point of Sale (PoS) terminal, following the acceptance of the interoperability of PoS machines earlier this month by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) board.

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