Awash Bank is the first private commercial bank established in Ethiopia.
Since it started operations in 1995, Awash Bank has grown to be one of the most important banks in Ethiopia, offering a wide range of conventional and interest-free products to locals, foreigners, and Ethiopians living in the diaspora.
This article covers everything you need to know about the types of products and services offered by Awash bank and what you need to access the products.
History and importance of Awash bank
Awash Bank was one of the first private companies created after the fall of Ethiopia's military regime.
Awash bank was created in 1994 after 486 investors pooled funds worth $466,926 thousand, but the bank started operating in 1995.
Since then, Awash bank has assets worth almost $3 billion and 5400 shareholders.
The current chief executive officer of Awash Bank’s board of directors is Ato Tsehay Shiferaw.
Awash Bank has more than 660 branches in Ethiopia and it has sponsored numerous social initiatives as part of its plans to alleviate poverty in Ethiopia.
You can view the list of the organisations and charities Awash Bank has donated to here.
Awash Bank also has different products aimed at helping women, children, and low-income members of society.
For example, the bank provides gifts or “Hiba” in the form of tuition fees and educational materials to the top parents that deposit money in a Wahadiah student solution account.
Types of services offered by Awash bank
Awash Bank offers conventional and interest-free banking products to its local and foreign companies.
These products are split into 4 categories: personal banking, SME banking, corporate banking, and business banking.
These are products tailored to individuals irrespective of their sex or financial status.
People can save, access loans, and benefit from special offers from the bank.
These are products that offer unique products and services to small and medium businesses.
Some of the products and services available to SME accounts are:
- Deposit account services:
- International banking services
- Loans and advances
- Safe deposit boxes
- Account relationship managers
Business and Corporate banking
These are services tailored for multinational and corporate organisations.
These products provide support to such businesses, help them move large amounts of money and contribute to their growth.
Some of the services and products available to business and corporate accounts are:
- Business Accounts
- International banking and trade services
- Liquidity and fund management
- Import and export services
- Leasing and hiring or purchase facilities
- Account management
- Payroll administration services
- Credit and loan services
- Project financing
- Mentorship, counselling and advisory services
How to access Awash Bank’s services
Awash Bank has made it easy to interact with its products and services.
You can interact with its services in 3 ways: Online banking, mobile banking, and physical banking
Online banking (internet channel)
These are Awash’s services that can be accessed by using an internet connection.
Awash’s online banking platforms allow you to:
- View your account history
- Transfer money to an awash bank account or mobile wallet.
- Send money to other bank accounts
- Check your account balance
How to register for Awash online banking
You need to have a bank account with Awash bank to qualify for the bank’s online service.
To register, all you have to do is:
- Apply at the nearest Awash bank branch. You can find the nearest Awash branch here
- After applying, you will receive a one-time password (OTP) that is valid for only 24 hours. This OTP is your initial password.
- Login to Awash online portal or download the bank app.
- Input your account number as user ID.
- Use the OTP you received as the password. It is advised you change the password to a stronger alternative immediately after you log into your account.
Mobile banking (Awash mobile wallet)
These are Awash’s services that can be accessed with only a mobile connection and USSD code.
The Awash mobile wallet can be accessed on any phone and the service is free to use.
With an Awash mobile wallet, you can:
- Check your account balance
- See the latest exchange rate
- Pay your bills
- Send and receive money from other accounts
- Request your account statement
How to register for an Awash mobile wallet
- Visit an Awash bank branch or agent to register.
- You would receive an SMS confirming your registration and a 4 digit pin
- Dial *901# and input the 4 digit pin you received
- Change the pin to a stronger code
- Dial *901# again to confirm the password change
You can view the different codes used to carry out transactions in an Awash mobile wallet by reading this guide
This covers the services that can be accessed through Awash bank's agents, ATM, or at a branch location.
You can perform all Awash banking operations like account opening, interest-free banking, money transfer, etc at the bank’s physical branches.
You can find the nearest Awash Bank branch here.
Services offered by Awash Bank agents
An Awash Bank agent is an individual that is authorised by the bank to carry out financial activities on its behalf.
Their bank agents can be identified by their awash Bank agent ID card or by their Awash agency certificate.
Awash bank agents allow you to:
- Deposit cash
- Withdraw cash
- Transfer money to different accounts
- Open an Awash mobile wallet
- Balance inquiry
- Pay bills
- Request for a mini account statement
Services available at Awash Bank’s ATMs
Awash ATMs can be used by an Awash card, Visa card, Master Card, and China Union Pay card holders. You can find the nearest Awash ATM here.
An Awash ATM allows you to:
- Withdraw cash
- Check your account balance
- Transfer funds
- Request for a mini account statement
How to transfer money at Awash bank
You can transfer money to an Awash account through SWIFT, international transfer bank services, and personal or bank cheques.
To send money to an Awash bank account in Ethiopia, you need:
- To confirm if the international bank can send money to an Awash account. You can do this by using Awash’s swift code (AWINETAA).
- The full name on the beneficiary’s account.
- The account number of the beneficiary.
- The name and address of the beneficiary’s bank.
An Awash Diaspora account can also be credited through SWIFT.
All you need is the full name on the account, the account number, the branch used to open the account, and Awash’s swift code (AWINETAA).
By international money transfer services
Awash bank can receive money from 16 international money transfer services as of April 2022.
Most of the time, you simply need to know the beneficiary’s name and account.
Awash bank also handles payments like tuition fees, medical bills, etc on behalf of its customers, but a foreign exchange permit is required.
What is an Awash Diaspora account
An Awash diaspora account is for Ethiopians and foreigners of Ethiopian origin living outside the country.
An Awash deposit account allows its owners to use foreign currency in Ethiopia, make local payments, transfer to foreign accounts, and qualify for Awash bank loans.
Plus, the account can be opened with either US Dollar, Pound Sterling, or Euro.
There are 3 types of Awash Diaspora accounts. They are:
Fixed time deposit account
A fixed time deposit account is an account that is opened only for a specific period of time.
This type of account is suited for people that intend to use the account for a short period of time.
A fixed-time deposit account is opened with an initial deposit of $5000 and the account must be used for a minimum of 3 months.
After 3 months, Awash Bank pays interest on the account.
A current account is operated by a cheque book or in any manner specified by the person using the account.
This means owners of an Awash Diaspora current account have to specify how they want to deposit or withdraw money.
An initial deposit of $100 is required to open the account.
There isn’t a limit on how long the account can be used, but Awash Bank does not pay interest on the account.
Non-repatriable Birr account
A non-repatriable Birr account is similar to the savings account used by locals living in Ethiopia.
The account is mainly used to make local payments and transfers in Ethiopia.
Owners of such accounts can not withdraw money in any foreign currency and any deposit made in a foreign currency is changed to Birr at a rate specified by the bank.
How to open an Awash Bank Diaspora account
To be eligible for an Awash Bank Diaspora account, you need to be either be:
- A non-resident Ethiopian
- A non-resident foreign national of Ethiopian origin.
- A company owned by the above-mentioned nonresidents and located outside the Ethiopian territory for more than one year;
- An Ethiopian national living and working abroad or in due process of living abroad for work for more than one year.
The documents needed to open an Awash Diaspora account depends on whether you want to open a current, fixed or non-repatriable birr account.
Regardless of the account type, you will need to:
- Fill out an account application, undertaking, and addendum form. You can get the form from an Awash Bank branch, an Ethiopian embassy, or from the website here.
- Print out the filled account application, undertaking, and addendum form.
- Submit the filled form with the required documents to an Awash bank near your or an Ethiopian embassy.
How to get a loan at Awash bank
Foreigners or Ethiopians in the Diaspora can apply for conventional and interest-free loans from Awash bank to:
- Purchase or build a house
- Buy a car
- Invest in stocks, real estate, etc
These loans are categorised as “Consumer loans for Ethiopian Diaspora”.
The interest rate on these loans depends on the modality of equity contribution, the length and terms of the loan, and the currency used to repay the loan i.e loans paid back in Birr have a higher interest rate
This means it is preferable to pay back the loan with a foreign currency like US Dollars or Pound Sterling.
To qualify for a consumer loan, foreigners or Ethiopians in the Diaspora must meet the following requirements:
- A Diaspora savings/current account
- A loan application letter that outlines the requested loan amount, repayment frequency, duration, collateral, etc
- A recent copy of their passport
- A permanent residence permit (This applies to Ethiopians living abroad)
- Employment letter and contract of employment to determine the person’s credit worthiness.
- Other documents as requested by the bank.
Frequently asked questions
Does Awash Bank have mobile banking?
Yes, Awash bank has mobile banking.
Simply visit an Awash agent or bank near you to register for an Awash mobile wallet.
After registering for an Awash mobile wallet, dial *901# to get started. You can view the codes for each Awash mobile wallet transaction here.
How can I reach Awash Bank Customer Service?
Simply dial 8980 on your mobile phone to speak to an Awash Bank customer care agent
What is Awash Bank Swift Code?
How many branches does Awash Bank have in Ethiopia?
Awash bank has more than 660 banks in Ethiopia.
You can search for the nearest Awash Bank branch by region here.
You can also find the nearest Awash Bank ATM here.
What is Awash Bank transfer Code?
Simply dial *901*4# to transfer money to an Awash Bank account.
You can also tap here or dial *901# to view all Awash’s transaction codes.
Awash Bank phone number
The official Awash Bank phone numbers are 0115-57-12-54 and 0115-57-13-24
What is Awash Bank’s contact information
Awash Bank headquarters: Awash Towers, Right Side, P.O.Box: 12638
Telephone number: 0115-57-12-54 and 0115-57-13-24
Fax number: +251115570136
Where can I download Awash app
What are the social media handles of Awash Bank
You can also check out their website here.
Awash bank doesn't have a lot of banking options for regular non-Ethiopians, but it makes up for it by offering services tailored to businesses and Ethiopians in the Diaspora.
The best way to get started with Awash bank is by visiting their website.
It's easy to understand and interested parties can get all the information they need without visiting a physical branch.