Ethiopia to Make Digital ID Mandatory for Banking Operations

The use of Ethiopia’s national digital ID, Fayda, for all transactions with financial institutions will soon be mandatory.

According to an announcement of the joint initiative by the National Bank of Ethiopia, the country’s central bank, and the National ID Program, the plan is to get all bank customers enrolled for the digital ID in the course of the 2023/2024 financial year in a move that seeks to accelerate government’s financial inclusion ambition. Bank customers will then use Fayda as their bank ID to carry out KYC checks and complete remote onboarding.

Using the Fayda will ease identity verification for bank users in a system, which according to the announcement guarantees data privacy and security. The central bank has also assured that the plan to use Fayda as the primary ID for banking operations will significantly improve transparency, stability, and security in Ethiopia’s financial sector.

The approach contrasts somewhat with that of Nigeria, where banks can issue cards for use both as national ID and for financial transactions.

Ethiopia is implementing a World Bank-supported MOSIP-based digital ID project which intends to have all eligible citizens enrolled by 2025. The country also recently contracted IrisGuard to support benefits payments to citizens with iris biometrics.

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