Dashen Bank S.C started providing transaction internet banking beginning this month having received its license from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE).
The Central Bank licensed Dashen for the transactional internet banking on December 31, 2014, almost two weeks after it applied on December 17, 2014, for the service which allows its customers to deposit or withdraw money from a bank account by using the internet.
Dashen received the license for providing information services, fund transfer, inquiry statement, provident fund, utility approval, and salary payment through internet, according to Abebe Girmay, vice president of the bank who oversees information system and E-banking services of Dashen.
“As soon as we got the license, we launched the service and we are registering customers for the service through all our branches,” Abebe said.
The new license allows the bank to conduct three types of fund transfers, from the customer’s one account to another account at the Bank, transfer from the customer’s account to another customer and transferring cash from Dashen to other banks. The new license also allows the bank to provide a service of salary payment and settle utility payments through internet banking.
“It has also alert system for the customers notifying them while they have credit transfers,’’ said Abebe.
Dashen was licensed for the non-transaction internet banking six months ago, according to Estifanos Befekadu, head of the Promotion Division at the Bank. And the Bank was giving non-transactional internet service, allowing its customers to get services including balance check, publishing statements, asking information from the Bank, and checking foreign exchange correspondence from their mobile phones and computers.
Dashen, a bank which has 140 branches with 1.3 million account holders as of January 2015, purchased the Internet Banking System (IBS) from Fintech Transforming Technology, an information technology solutions and services provider with a presence in five countries including Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Uganda and Zimbabwe six months ago. Previously, Fintech provided different banking software solutions for United Bank, Zemen Bank and Awash International Bank.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) a commonly-used protocol for managing the security of a message transmission on the Internet was procured from Semantic Space Software Engineer, a United States based software developer, which is known for developing anti viruses for computers. Officials of the Bank refrained from disclosing the amount paid to both Fintech and Semantic saying they have a confidential deal with the companies.
“We requested the central bank for the license after we finalized the installation and implementation of the software we procured from the two companies in the last six months,” said Abebe.
The implementation includes preparing operational documents and risk avoidance as the bank transacts in cash over the public network, according to Abebe.
The license makes Dashen a bank operating with 170 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and 827 Point of Sales (PoS) along with nine additional Forex bureaus, the fourth bank for the service following United, Zemen and the state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE).
“From the services of utility approval and salary payment, we charge customers because we deal with third party,” said Abebe. “But for the fund transfers at the bank and external banks we do not charge the customers.”
The fees for the two services are one tenth of the service fee customers make at the Bank, according to Abebe.
We are dealing with DSTV to settle its utility payment from its clients, said Abebe.
Dashen’s annual profit before tax was close to one billion Br during the last fiscal year, growing from 607 million Br in 2012/13 and 652 million Br in 2011/12. The Bank has recently announced salary increases to all its 4,284 employees, ranging from 76pc to 129pc, which cost the Bank 120 million Br. It also launched American Express cards two months ago, in addition to MasterCard, VISA and UnionPay.
Established over a decade ago, Dashen is the biggest private bank in the country, with deposits of 18 billion Br mobilized from 1.3 million depositors and having a total asset of 22 billion Br.