“The impact on the economy will be unprecedented”: Somalia creates a national payment system

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Somalia has created a national payment system under the financial industry development plan, after decades of political and economic instability.

The system will connect lenders with a clearing platform and allow real-time money transfers to be processed. Other advantages of the system include the interaction capabilities for debit and credit cards, mobile network operators and ATMs.

Now the country’s 13 credit banks can “be interoperable, be connected to the Central Bank’s clearing and settlement system and transact with each other,” said the Governor of the Central Bank of Somalia, Abdirahman M. Abdullahi, in an interview with Bloomberg.

The system will “facilitate transactions between sellers and their buyers in a more efficient way,” the bank representative said.

“The impact on the economy will be unprecedented. It will boost trade and business,” said Abdullahi, who estimates that the Somali economy could grow 2.9% this year.

Last July, the International Bank of Somalia launched the Visa Card international payment service.

The Central Bank of Somalia has also granted the first mobile phone-based financial services license to Hormuud Telecom and is studying the possibility of printing new Somali shillings banknotes, as they now use mostly US dollars.

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