Somalia issues first mobile money licence to telecom firm

As the Horn of Africa nation strives to align its payment systems with the global financial system, the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) announced that it has awarded the first mobile money license to a telecom firm.

The country’s apex bank revealed it granted a mobile money licence to Hormuud Telecom, the country’s biggest telecom service provider to operate electronic voucher cards (EVC) Plus.

“The Central Bank of Somalia issued today Mobile Money licence to Hormuud Telecom under the provision of mobile money service within the Federal Republic of Somalia,” Abdirahman Abdullahi Mohamed, the CBS governor announced in a statement issued on Saturday evening.

“In formalising our existing digital payments infrastructure, we are accelerating the integration of Somalia’s financial system into the global economy,” Mr Mohamed added.

According to Nation Africa, EVC Plus is a free mobile money service being used by three million subscribers in Somalia.

Mr Mohamed said licensing and regulating of mobile money service providers has been an important priority area for the Central bank of Somalia with a notion of guaranteeing financial inclusion, consumer protection and financial resilience.

Approximately 155 million transactions worth $2.7 billion are recorded per month in Somalia, according to the World Bank’s 2018 study.

Hormuud Telecom said it will continue to provide important services to the customers to assist deepen financial inclusion for the Somali people.

However, analysts have said that Somali economy is gradually becoming more internet-based as banks, money transfer, education, airline, media, and some government services, mainly depend on the internet to provide their services.

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