Safaricom Ethiopia announced its mobile money service m-Pesa is now available to Android users in the country, with an iOS version to follow in the coming weeks.

The launch comes three months after the operator secured a licence from the National Bank of Ethiopia and follows a series of pilot testing, the operator stated.

The service is available in five languages and it will offer a range of financial tools to Ethiopian subscribers including sending and receiving money within the country and abroad, topping up airtime and paying retail merchants.

Interim CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia Stanley Njoroge said m-Pesa provides digital payment services to more than 51 million customers in seven African markets, and the Ethiopian launch will further expand the company’s innovation and digital inclusion strategy.

Paul Kavavu, interim GM of Safaricom m-Pesa Mobile Financial Services touted the platform as key to financial inclusion in Kenya, with more than 90 per cent of the country’s adult population now having access to mobile banking.

Kavavu noted Safaricom will add more functions to the app and work with Ethiopians to “jointly realise the transformative power of m-Pesa.”