MasterCard is First International Payments Network in Somalia
MasterCard has become the first international payments network in Somalia, thanks to a partnership with Premier Bank. The bank will issue a co-branded payments card and provide ATM services in Somalia, with prepaid cards and point of sale terminals to come in the near future.
This marks a huge leap forward for Somalia, a country that has not had a formal banking system since the collapse of the government in 1991.
At the recent World Economic Forum on Africa, Abdirahman Yusuf Ali Aynte, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Somalia, said “Somalia has made significant strides to rebuild the country and instill peace and stability. Today marks a historic milestone, signalling Somalia’s financial liberation following years of being excluded from participating in the global economy.”
The new payments platform will give government agencies a simple and effective way to disburse salaries for their employees, and international aid organizations can send support funds through a secure, traceable platform that eliminates the risk of transporting cash.
The co-branded debit cards provided by Premier Bank can be used at any MasterCard-licensed ATM around the world, as well as making purchases online.
“It is our hope that increasing payment card usage in Somalia will encourage merchants and citizens to demand more electronic payments services as they engage with and contribute to the formal economy,” said Mahat Mohamed Ahmed, Managing Director of Premier Bank.
MasterCard currently operates in more than 210 countries and territories around the world. The partnership with Premier Bank marks yet another way MasterCard continues to expand on the global financial market.