Somalia’s central bank awarded on Saturday the country’s first mobile money licence to Mogadishu-based Hormuud Telecom Somalia Inc, a move aimed at formalising the country’s digital payments system and integrating it with the global financial system.
Hormuud Telecom, which began operating in the Horn of Africa nation in 2002, has some 3.6 million subscribers in Somalia, a country of more than 15 million people, and roughly 3 million people use its mobile money platform EVC Plus.
By granting Hormuud the licence, EVC Plus will now be subject to central bank regulation, which should boost confidence in the country’s mobile money system, the governor of the monetary authority said in a statement.
“In formalising our existing digital payments infrastructure, we are accelerating the integration of Somalia’s financial system into the global economy,” Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi said.
More than two thirds of all payments made in Somalia are via mobile money platforms, according to Hormuud Telecom, and the licence will help Somalia move towards becoming a cashless economy and tackle widespread counterfeiting.
“The news today cements what we’ve known for a long time, that Somalia is moving towards being the world’s first truly cashless economy,” said Ahmed Mohamud Yuusuf, Hormuud Telecom’s chief executive.