Dashen Bank and Mastercard join forces to launch the first virtual prepaid card in Ethiopia

August 18, 2023 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • The card offers both plastic and virtual capabilities allowing customers to choose their preferred payment method.
  • The new card will provide foreign payment options, simplifying international payments
  • The partnership will also drive sustainable growth and inclusion of small businesses in Ethiopia through the Mastercard Payment Gateway system that will make digital and e-commerce payments more seamless, smart, and swift


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Dashen Bank has partnered with Mastercard to introduce the ‘Dashen Mastercard', a ground-breaking multi-currency international prepaid card. This announcement was made during a press conference held at the bank's headquarters, marking a significant milestone in Ethiopia's card business. The card offers both plastic and virtual options, providing customers with unparalleled flexibility and convenience for their international transactions.

The Dashen Mastercard features a dual-interface plastic card, allowing customers to make both contact or contactless transactions at ATMs and POS machines. It also enables cash withdrawals from ATMs, payments on POS terminals, and offers users the freedom to make online purchases at any merchant website worldwide where Mastercard is accepted.

A key feature of the Dashen Mastercard is its reloadable nature, allowing users to load funds onto the card as needed at forex bureaus. The card also supports multiple currencies, enabling customers to have separate wallet accounts in different currency types, thus eliminating the need for a separate foreign currency account. This feature makes it an ideal choice for international payments and travel-related expenses.

To ensure maximum security, the Dashen Mastercard incorporates an additional layer of protection by providing customers with a One-Time Password (OTP) for every transaction made on e-commerce platforms. This feature enhances customer confidence and safeguards against unauthorized use of the card.

"This innovative offering is a testament to Dashen Bank's commitment to delivering convenient and secure financial solutions to our customers," said Mr Asfaw Alemu, Chief Executive Officer at Dashen Bank . "The Dashen Mastercard empowers travelers with the freedom to manage their finances seamlessly while exploring the world."

In addition to the card launch, Dashen Bank and Mastercard have also introduced the Mastercard Payment Gateway System, allowing Ethiopian merchants with mobile applications or websites to accept international payments online. Customers from around the world can now place online orders and reservations and make payments to merchants integrated with the Mastercard Payment Gateway System using their cards. This product aligns with Ethiopia's digital transformation strategy by facilitating smooth cross-border payments.

“Our partnership with Dashen Bank marks a significant milestone in our efforts to join forces with financial institutions in Ethiopia by leveraging the power of our products and solutions to bring more people into the digital economy,” said Shehryar Ali, Senior Vice President and Country Manager for East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands at Mastercard. " We are proud to collaborate with Dashen Bank to enhance the drive to access financial services, and our shared commitment to grow innovative payment solutions and seamless transactions for merchants and customers alike."

The Dashen Mastercard is available to travelers above the age of 18. Interested individuals can obtain the card by visiting any forex bureau and providing essential travel documents such as a passport, visa, and flight ticket that are required during the application process.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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