MasterCard is teaming with Premier Bank, becoming the first international payments network to enter Somalia. Premier Bank will now issue and accept the first MasterCard-branded payment cards in Somalia, a country that hasn’t had any form of formal banking service since the collapse of the government and financial services system in 1991.
Premier Bank ATMs can accept cards for cash withdrawal, while the bank will also issue 5,000 MasterCard debit cards this year, followed by prepaid cards, and point of sale (POS) machines.
The introduction of the MasterCard payments network means that government agencies now have an efficient platform through which to transfer salary disbursements. Foreigners, expatriates and international aid organisations sending funds to Somalia can do so via a formal, traceable network that complies with international security standards, eliminating the risks of transferring and transporting cash.
Remittances contribute well over US$1 billion to Somalia’s economy annually, or over 35 percent of GDP, funds that are an essential source of income for individuals and necessary for the development of the country.
Premier Bank’s MasterCard-branded debit cards enable Somalis to withdraw funds from any MasterCard-licensed ATM globally, shop online, and pay for goods and services at millions of merchants that accept MasterCard payment cards around the world.
Demonstrating the value of close collaboration in the banking and payments technology industries, this landmark partnership is a significant step towards reducing Somalia’s dependence on cash, increasing financial inclusion and ultimately contributing to the country’s financial stability.
Premier Bank Limited is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Somalia (License No. 0011) to provide Banking and Financial Services. The bank offers comprehensive one-stop financial solutions to customers who include both private and government institutions, corporate and SME businesses and individuals in Somalia. The bank has two branches on KM4 Makalmukarama Street and Bakara Market in Mogadishu, with plans underway to open more branches in the capital and key towns of Somalia.
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