In our “5 Questions” series, we ask partners in the AFTS ecosystem to share about their work and unique perspective on fintech. This “5 Questions” interview is with Yemiru Chanyalew, the CEO of Moneta Technologies S.C., whose mobile wallet platform AMOLE is a sponsor of the AFTS Addis Ababa event.
Briefly, can you describe the focus and scope of Moneta Technologies’ work?
Moneta Technologies S.C is a fintech company working in partnership with Dashen Bank. We provide a mobile commerce and digital payment system named AMOLE in Ethiopia with a focus on largely facilitating merchant payments because the economy has wide capacity gaps across the various sectors. We also provide a digital wallet for mobile payments. With some 65% of Ethiopia’s estimated 100M+ population being digital natives, we aspire to be Ethiopia’s preferred interactive communication & payment platform. We have a large Pan-African footprint with offices in Kenya and USA.
Tell us about your mobile wallet platform, Amole. When did it launch and what specific market needs were you addressing? What is the significance of the name “AMOLE”?
Amole is a digital banking platform created by Moneta Technologies S.C. & powered by Dashen Bank, through which we offer mobile money and digital finance through an omni-channel platform where users can engage with Amole through USSD, smartphone app and on their desktops. Our app is also embedded with a chat and e-commerce function that helps users link to sites such as online stores and travel companies for seamless transactions. In Ethiopia, raw cash is still king, with a significant number of the population unbanked – but with mobile phone access – and we are enabling financial inclusion and bringing the unbanked into the formal financial world. The Amole platform was launched in May 2018 on beta followed by July 2018 with 10 products & services, local e-commerce gateway, 8 eco-system players, full marketing & GTM as well as 24/7 customer call center support.
Amole is an Amharic word referring to the bullion of salt that was used as a form of currency by ancient Ethiopia traders, and we see our digital wallet as a solution to Ethiopia’s digital economic challenges.
Amole has been a unique success in Ethiopia as a model partnership between private fintech and traditional bank, as Amole is powered by Dashen Bank. What have been the key components of your successful partnership?
Given Ethiopia’s fintech is bank-led versus bank/telco led fintechs in other markets, we chose to deploy our platform with a bank that is innovative and fintech-oriented, and our partnership with Dashen bank was mutually rewarding. As a result, Amole Financial Services, in partnership with Dashen Bank, enables payments, savings, lending, credit and other banking transactions, while our Amole Value Added Services by Moneta Technologies powers airtime purchases, social media interactions, in-app purchases, micro insurance, utility payments, e-commerce transactions for music, books, ringtones and sports betting, as well payment functionalities for traffic fines, airline tickets, regional bus tickets, DSTV subscriptions & school fees.
What are some developments in fintech that you are excited to apply to the area of mobile money?
Ethiopia currently has the largest number of mobile subscribers (around 44M) with digital banking penetration of 6%, and the country strives to bring this to 40% by 2022. This huge leap needs a convenient, reliable and innovative enabler in payment solutions as well as digital transactions and we are providing the solution via our platform. We are watching the space for microloans to SME’s, microloans to individuals, international remittance services, insurance payments and more.
Why are you excited to partner with Africa Fintech Summit in Addis Ababa?
This is the first time it’s been held in Ethiopia. Ethiopia was not on the radar as a technology or digital hub to attract the world’s attention until now. This is an opportunity for Moneta Technologies to show the world we are offering a world-class fintech product that can be deployed in other markets we are strategically looking to expand to, and we are looking to meet some of potential collaborators and partners.