Thursday, May 29, 2014

Visa pushes for more access to barely-tapped Ethiopia

(May 29. 2014, (Reuters))--Visa Inc., which is piloting Ethiopia's first international debit card, is seeking to persuade the government to ease tight restrictions on banks in an effort to boost the use of electronic payments.

Ethiopia has one of Africa's fastest-growing economies but few people in the Horn of Africa nation of 90 million have bank accounts and the range of services is limited.

The government bars foreign banks, saying it needs to protect domestic lenders, and local debit cards have until now not worked abroad.

Jabu Basopo, Visa's manager for southern and east Africa, said the focus was on persuading leaders of the $43 billion economy that is dominated by state enterprise about the benefits of electronic payments. Read more from Reuters »

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