Flutterwave forges Ethiopia partnership, eyeing country's massive diaspora

May 20 (Reuters) - Africa-focused payments giant Flutterwave will partner with Ethiopian digital money and e-commerce platform Amole to make remittances from the country’s massive diaspora faster and cheaper, the companies said on Thursday.

Global users will be able to send money using Flutterwave directly into an Amole digital wallet, a bank account, or to a cash pickup location, the companies said.

Ethiopia has an eight-million person diaspora around the world whose remittances amount to more than $5 billion annually, they added.

Founded in 2016 by Nigerians and headquartered in San Francisco, Flutterwave specialises in individual and consumer transfers. In March, it unveiled a payments partnership with Paypal and said it was considering a New York listing following a $1 billion valuation.[nL8N2L63EH

Ethiopia’s Dashen Bank and payments platform Moneta Technologies created Amole in 2018. Last month, the company announced a payments partnership with Visa.

Flutterwave’s announcement comes just days after Ethiopia’s sole mobile operator, Ethio Telecom, launched a mobile phone-based financial service.

Ethiopia is in the midst of opening up its state-run telecoms sector to private entrants, but says that for now, only Ethio Telecom will be able to offer mobile financial services. (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)