ETHIOPIA: Hibret Bank & Mastercard launch prepaid card

Hibret Bank, in collaboration with Mastercard, has announced the launch of the Prepaid Hibir Mastercard services, marking a significant move towards financial digitisation in Ethiopia.

This service is designed to offer customers unparalleled convenience and security in international card banking experiences, enabling them to access and utilize foreign currency for overseas travels and international transactions wherever Mastercard is accepted.

Melaku Kebede, Chief Executive Officer of Hibret Bank, said, “At Hibret Bank, strategic alliances and technology are not just part of our operations; they are what drive us forward. Launching the Prepaid Hibir Mastercard in collaboration with Mastercard is a testament to this, marking a significant step towards our mission of digital financial inclusion. By leveraging our in-house technological capabilities for projects like our mobile banking app and core banking system upgrades, we not only foster local innovation but also enhance our service security and customer experience.”

The Prepaid Hibir Mastercard has a dual-interface feature supporting both contact and contactless transactions, making it a convenient financial tool for both ATM withdrawals and point-of-sale purchases. The card also has a reloadable feature allowing customers to top up funds at any Hibret Bank branch as needed, providing a secure and user-friendly solution to meet the evolving needs of customers engaging in foreign trade, travel, and other cross-border transactions.

Shehryar Ali, Senior Vice President and Country Manager for East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands at Mastercard said, “Our collaboration with Hibret Bank for the Prepaid Hibir Mastercard service is a reflection of our commitment to fostering financial inclusion and digitization not just in Ethiopia, but across Africa. This service is more than just a payment solution; it is a bridge for Ethiopians to access the global market with ease and security.”

The launch of the Prepaid Hibir Mastercard is backed by Premier Switch Solutions, Ethiopia’s trusted third-party processor that powers electronic transactions between banks, including Hibret Bank, guaranteeing a secure and efficient experience.

The initiative not only aims to enhance customer banking experiences and support the growth of digital financial services, it  also contributes significantly to the national economy by promoting financial inclusion in  Ethiopia, which currently stands at 46 percent and aims for 70 percent by 2025.