Awash Bank Now Accommodates Visa Card Holders In Ethiopia

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Awash International Bank started receiving Visa card in addition to its existing services of MasterCard which was started one year ago.

The Bank started the process to accommodate Visa after becoming a member of Visa Multinational Financial Service Corporation two years ago. Awash’s third party payment processer, Premier Switch Solutions S.C. (PSS), was also required to be certified under the new Visa standard for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard PCI DSS, an information security standard to prevent credit card fraud and theft of credit card data on the internet. This standard was set by the PCI Security Council, according to Mechal Bedhadha, promotion and public relations manager of Awash. The Bank will also start receiving China Union Pay and American Express card, Mechal added.

The Visa card is exclusively for those who bring a card issued under the multinational financial service corporation of Visa. Currently the bank’s branches have reached 200, with 100 automated teller machines (ATMs) and 500 point of sale (POS) terminals. Awash has been receiving the card for the last two weeks ago in all its ATMs and POS machines.

A pilot programme of the service was conducted by PSS, which has six banks as its shareholders. PSS was established for the supervision and integration of the electronic payment systems of member banks. Pioneer services were established by United Bank, Nib International Bank and Awash, and later joined by Addis International Bank and Birhan International Bank.

The payment system currently available in the country is not enough and the medium of exchange is mainly cash, Yohaness Merga, Vice President of corporate service at the bank said adding that the bank launched the Visa card platform to expand its accessibility in line with the increasing number of foreigners and tourists coming to the country.

Mechal noted that by launching the service, the bank planned to attract foreigners by giving them quality and accessible service to spend their money and increase its foreign currency earnings.

Awash International Bank was established in 1994. Its total assets have reached over 26 billion Br and its total deposits stand at 19 billion Br, according to latest figures.

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