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Addis Ababa Continues to Open Up its Finance Market to Foreign Participants

British digital payments company IrisGuard has partnered with Ethiopian financial services firm Arifpay. IrisGuard provides payments infrastructure – the EyePay Network – that uses biometric data derived from the human eye to authenticate and process transactions. This is designed to cut out the need for manual compliance processes and physical documentation which, in emerging markets such as Ethiopia, can often prove a barrier to financial inclusion. The solution therefore helps entities overcome issues associated with connectivity, location, or literacy. As the Ethiopian government continues to pursue a programme of liberalising financial services, which have long been dominated by domestic state-owned companies, the entry of a British company signals that the market could be becoming increasingly attractive to foreign firms.