Visa has launched Somalia’s first Visa card payment service in collaboration with the International Bank of Somalia (IBS Bank).
In a joint statement, the two entities stated the partnership will allow Somalia to use cashless payment systems for international and domestic transactions.
“For Visa to come to Somalia, it implies that we are on the correct path of growth and progress,” said Mahat Mohamed Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IBS Bank. We will continue to form partnerships and provide customers with accessible and innovative financial solutions.”
Visa’s country manager for Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea, Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, says the new cards can be a safe alternative to cash during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
“The Visa card also gives you access to a global market, with over 61 million merchant outlets in over 200 countries,” she says.
After 30 years outside the global financial system, Somalia has recently normalized relations with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other international financial institutions.
Salaam Bank deployed the country’s first Automated Teller Machine in October 2014 to make cash withdrawals easier for diaspora returnees and foreigners.
Mastercard launched its services in Somalia with IBS and Premier Banks not long after.
Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi, Somalia’s Central Bank Governor, stated that the partnership would connect Somalia to the global financial system and demonstrate the country’s growing trust in its banking and finance sector.
“In Somalia, we intend to install an electronic verification system that will provide biometric identification of customers opening bank accounts or transacting. We believe that this will contribute to the development of international trust and confidence in Somalia-related transactions in other financial markets,” Abdullahi said.