Milestone for Somalia as it gains MasterCard partnership

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MasterCard partners up with Somalian lender Premier Bank and becomes the first international payments network to enter the nation.

Since the collapse of its government and financial services in 1991, Somalia has endured a tough time financially, but with this new MasterCard partnership, things are about to change.

MasterCard will issue 5000 debit cards to Somalia in 2015 and Premier ATM banks can accept the cards for cash withdrawal.

‘‘Somalia has made significant strides to rebuild the country and instil peace and stability. Today marks a historic milestone, signalling Somalia’s financial liberation following years of being excluded from participating in the global economy,’’ commented Abdirahman Yusuf Ali Aynte, the minister of planning and international cooperation of Somalia.

The introduction of MasterCard will present a huge opportunity for Somalian government officials. Using MasterCard’s platform, government agencies now have an efficient platform through which to transfer salary disbursements.

The issue of payment security could also become a thing of the past with this new collaboration. Foreigners, expatriates and international aid organisations sending funds to Somalia can do so securely, without having to worry about potential security risks.

This partnership could have a profound impact on Somalia’s economy, as remittances contribute well over $1bn to Somalia’s economy annually, or over 35 per cent of its GDP.

‘‘To promote economic growth in Somalia, which has long been isolated from the global economy, there is a need for electronic payment solutions that align with international security and regulation standards,’’ stated Daniel Monehin, division president for sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard.

‘‘Our agreement with Premier Bank comes at a time when MasterCard is working closely with governments and financial institutions across Africa to introduce safe and simple financial solutions, achieving our vision of a world beyond cash,’’ continued Monehin.

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