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.
While admitting there were “particularly sophisticated intrusions” of its networks in 2010 and 2011 by the NSA, Gemalto says the hacks never got near its SIM encryption keys. The Company also refuted many of facts listed in the February 19th website news story that set off the investigation.
Salaam Somali Bank has installed its first-ever automated teller machine (ATM) in Mogadishu. NCR is powering the deal through channel partner DIS-PRO.
SOS Children’s Villages Kenya implemented sQuid’s smartcard payments service to help villagers obtain food directly from local shops. The pilot program has been launched in the northern Kenyan town of Marsabit, and is being operated by sQuid and its local partner Paystream, a specialist in merchant payment terminal installation and management. The SOS Children’s Villages Kenya scheme is the result of collaboration with SOS Kenya, community elders, Government authorities and shop owners. The sQuid system delivers the electronic value to each card, which can then be used in the local store – collecting the unique top-up and allowing the cardholder to make contactless purchases of food directly at the participating merchant.
MoneyGram International has made a $50,000 donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support life-saving programs for children in Africa and the Middle East. MoneyGram is providing $25,000 each to two UNICEF child survival and development initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa and emergency relief efforts in the drought and famine-affected countries of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. MoneyGram has seen a strong flow of funds recently to many countries in Africa, typically representing non-resident families helping families in the region during this time of extreme need.
The CEO of Dahabshiil international remittance business has called for support from the international community to work with the private sector in Somalia. External recognition is required to support the private sector in the reconstruction and development of the region, given the constraints facing Somali businesses. The private sector in Somalia needs international support to help create more jobs and encourage investment in the region. This, however, is discouraged due to the perception of Somalia and a lack of understanding of how the private sector works from international banks making it harder for businesses to obtain capital. Aside from individuals, over 95% of the international organisations in Somalia rely on Dahabshiil payment services.
Dahabshiil international money transfer has debuted its “Dahabshiil
eCash” debit card service in Somalia to ease making and receiving
payments. “Dahabshiil eCash” is designed to allow users to pay for goods
and services at any official Dahabshiil merchant with a POSand is
available to those with a Dahabshiil account and debit card. These
merchants include shops, restaurants, hotels and petrol stations located
throughout the country and there are plans in the works to expand its
eCash service to utility providers and educational institutions to allow
students to pay for tuition fees. Although the debit card requires both
PIN and signature authorization like that of a traditional debit card
offering, transactions are made over the internet connection, which
means that the money is transferred from the card holder’s account to
the merchant’s account immediately.
PayPal has added 87 new markets bringing its total global base to 190 markets. With more than 143 million accounts globally, PayPal users can now move money to places like Benin, Comoros, Kiribati, Nauru, Sao Tome and Tuvalu. Additionally, customers using PayPal.com can also view the site in Spanish, French and simplified Chinese. The eBay Company now offers customers in 46 markets the ability to transact in their native language, making domestic and cross border trading secure and simple for millions of customers around the globe. In the first three months of this year, PayPal’s total payment volume was an astounding $11 billion.
Operation Uplink, the VFW program that provides free pre-paid phone cards to active duty troops and hospitalized veterans, announced plans this weekend for a major effort to provide Operation Uplink cards in the Washington D.C. area over Independence Day weekend.
According to organizers, the program will be hosting distributions at six Washington area military bases with at least one additional event specifically for hospitalized veterans. Together, the effort is expected to provide some 25,000 phone cards to area troops and hospitalized veterans during just that weekend alone. Some 15,000 of the phone cards planned for distribution are gifts from IDT Corporation, a telecommunications company based in Hackensack, NJ.
“There is no more appropriate time to honor those individuals who serve — or have served — in our Armed Forces than Independence Day,” said John E. Moon, VFW Commander-in-Chief. “After all, these are the people who have protected our very way of life, and I can think of nothing they would like better than to contact those most important to them on this patriotic day.”
Operation Uplink was developed to help ease the hardship of the more than 2,000,000 hospitalized veterans and active duty military personnel who face the day-to-day struggles of being far away from home. Even worse, the cost of long distance phone calls can create a severe strain on military families or veterans whose finances are already depleted.
The events are organized and hosted by VFW Posts and Departments and made possible through the generous donations of time and financial contributions of VFW members and supporters.
Started almost two years ago, Operation Uplink has already distributed nearly 70,000 pre-paid phone cards to hospitalized veterans and active duty military personnel around the world.
Since its inception, the program has received tremendous recognition. In fact, over the 1997 holidays, President Clinton distributed 400 Operation Uplink cards to young Americans serving on peacekeeping forces.
This past year, Operation Uplink was also recognized from the Senate floor. Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV, Committee on Veterans Affairs) noted, “We all realize that a phone is more than a modern convenience; it is a lifeline to the outside world for a sick veteran … this project is a tribute to the many veterans who believed in the principles of freedom and democracy strongly enough to risk their lives in the name of freedom.”
The VFW, founded in 1899, is America’s oldest major veterans organization. More than 2 million members served overseas during World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Lebanon, the Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti, as well as in many smaller occupation and expeditionary actions.
To learn more about Operation Uplink, write to: Operation Uplink, VFW National Headquarters, 406 W. 34th Street, Suite 219, Kansas City, MO 64111, call 1-800-479-5228 or visit VFW’s website at .
The Veterans of Foreign Wars announced Wednesday that IDT Corporation, a New Jersey-based calling card company, has generously donated 15,000 pre-paid phone cards to Operation Uplink. The domestic phone cards will be given to active duty troops and hospitalized veterans in celebration of Independence Day.
“We are extremely grateful to IDT for their enthusiastic support of Operation Uplink,” shares Joanne Dickerson, Production Coordinator, VFW Marketing Services. “The donation will enable countless individuals to get in contact with their families.”
According to Dickerson, who worked with IDT in securing the gift, each phone card contains ten minutes long distance phone time. Together, the cards are valued at more than $37,000.
The gift was organized by Edward Miller, IDT Vice President – Corporate Sales. In announcing the gift, Miller commented on how appropriate a time Independence Day is for such a gift, expressing gratitude for the sacrifices veterans and active duty troops continue to make.
“Working with IDT, especially Mr. Miller, has been a wonderful experience,” says Dickerson. “His genuine concern for veterans and those serving our country is readily apparent.”
Through the generous donations of VFW members and supporters, Operation Uplink has already distributed more than 70,000 pre-paid phone cards in VA Medical Centers and military bases around the world. The program is funded by donations from members and friends of the VFW, including several corporations.
The VFW, founded in 1899, is America’s oldest major veterans organization. Its more than 2.1 million members served overseas during World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Lebanon, the Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti, as well as in many smaller occupation and expeditionary actions.
IDT is a leading emerging multinational carrier that combines its position as an international telecommunications operator, its experience as an Internet service provider and its leading position in Internet telephony to provide a broad range of telecommunications services to its wholesale and retail customers worldwide. The company provides its customers with integrated and competitively priced international and domestic long distance, Internet access and, through its Net2Phone product offerings, Internet telephony services including Net2Phone Direct and Net2Fax.
Except for historical information, all of the expectations and assumptions contained in the foregoing are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the competitive environment for Internet telephony, changes of rates of all related telco rates and services, legislation that may affect the Internet Telephony industry, IDT ‘s ability to operate the services described on a large scale commercial level. For additional information regarding these and other risks associated with the Company’s business refer to the Company’s reports filed with the SEC.