Somalia has been looking to grow its access to the digital economy and drive financial inclusion as other African countries make significant steps in these fields.
They have now got a boost after MyBank, Mastercard and Network International partnered to launch a new Mastercard debit card that seamlessly enables online shopping in Somalia. This will builf e-commerce in the area, and grow the potential for expansion of access to financial technology.
The new physical card is a first for MyBank in the country, and will enable consumers to transact in-store at various points-of-sale and at ATMs, while also giving them the ability to make online purchases through e-commerce channels. These services will also benefit underserved sectors in Somalia, through the provision of additional transaction terminals, enabling wider financial inclusion in the country.
MyBank's agreement with Network International gives the bank access to Mastercard's global network, thus enabling its customers, business clients and other users to enjoy more convenient, secure, and easy-to-use ways to pay wherever Mastercard is accepted across the world. The initiative will contribute to boosting digital payments penetration in Somalia and will be supported by an awareness programme, educating customers on the card benefits and usage.
"As Mastercard, this is the first of many as we are enabling digital inclusion in Somalia. Through this collaboration, we are advancing the banking sector in this market, increasing digital payments and building choice in a strong digital economy that can help unlock financial inclusion. Many countries across the Sub-Saharan region are successfully adapting to e-commerce services and QR solutions, simplifying transactions and making the payment process more efficient for all stakeholders.
As a leader in the payments technology industry, we are proud to partner with MyBank to grow connections, improve digitization and enhance the digital payments landscape in Somali," said Mr. Shehryar Ali, Country Manager for East Africa, Mastercard.
Through its technology, expertise, global network and partnerships, Mastercard is collaborating to build a strong digital economy that can unlock a world beyond cash where everyone thrives. Mastercard has made a global commitment to bring 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025, with a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their business.
"We're proud to be taking this important step towards providing safe and efficient access to financial services to people and businesses in Somalia. Partnering with Mastercard, and Network International which brings considerable expertise in the global payments technology space, confidently positions us to be able to do so," said Mr. Abdulrazak M. Ahmed, MyBank Limited CEO.
The card industry in Somalia is still relatively new. In 2015, Mastercard became the first international payments network to make the issuing and acceptance of card payments possible in the country. Progress made in improving the usage benefits of cards, is paramount to growing the economy.
"Network International is delighted to lend its expertise to an initiative which will bring significant change to Somalia's economy in the long-term. Through partnerships like this, we continue to deliver on our commitment to further financial inclusion and enhance digital payment acceptance in emerging markets, especially in the critical SME sector.
Network's on-ground experience in supporting the banking sector in Africa and empowering small businesses to adapt to the digital economy will play a key role in the continued success of this milestone collaboration, "said Hany Fekry, Regional President, Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, Network International.