Somalians Can Now Have Access To Global Payment Dealerships


July 16, 2021, 2:08 p.m.

Since the collapse of Somalia’s government in 1991, the country has had no formal banking or financial system. However, the narrative has changed as Somalia is taking tentative steps towards growth and digitalization.

Visa and the International Bank of Somalia (IBS Bank) have partnered to launch Somalia’s first Visa card payment service. The partnership will give Somalians access to global dealerships and local cashless payment systems.

“For Visa to come to Somalia, it means that we are on the right path of growth and progress. We will continue to make partnerships and bring convenient and innovative financial solutions to the people,” said Mahat Mohamed, the CEO of IBS Bank.

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“New players are coming on board now. Two years ago, we had about five licensed banks, and today we are talking of 13 licensed commercial banks. That goes to demonstrate the appetite that is there.” Mohamed added.

In 2014, 47 years after the Automated Teller Machine was invented and 25 years after it was introduced in Nigeria and Kenya, Salaam Bank installed the first-ever ATM in Somalia in Mogadishu, the capital state. The ATM was to facilitate cash withdrawals (dollars) for only diaspora returnees and foreigners.

Then a year later in June 2015, Mastercard became the first international payment network to enter the Somalia market in partnership with Premier Bank to aid account holders to perform domestic transactions.

The presence of both Mastercard and Visa in Somalia will help position its market as arable land ready to receive seed and produce a bounty harvest.

In addition to this, Somalia plans to install an electronic verification system that will ease biometric identification of customers opening bank accounts or transacting in Somalia.

“We believe this will help to build international trust and confidence in transactions originating from Somalia to other financial markets,” Abdullahi said.


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Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.