Somalia’s new digital payment system

In a significant development for Somalia’s business landscape, the governor of the central bank has revealed plans for a revolutionary national contactless payment system, according to a renowned British newswire.

The Central Bank of Somalia has taken a significant stride towards establishing a cashless economy by introducing a standardized Quick Response Code (QR code) platform. This move emulates Kenya, which successfully implemented its QR code standard in May 2023.

The launch of this QR code standard represents Somalia’s commitment to rebuilding its financial services infrastructure, which has been hampered by years of conflict.

Following the inauguration of SOMQR in Mogadishu on Tuesday, Abdirahman Abdullahi shed light on the system, emphasizing its capacity to seamlessly connect customers, businesses, and banks. By consolidating digital payments into a single, user-friendly platform, SOMQR aims to integrate the vibrant and sizable payment ecosystem in Somalia, which had hitherto remained disconnected from banks.

To foster interoperability among the country’s 13 financial institutions, the Central Bank of Somalia had already introduced a national payments system in 2021. In another notable development, the adoption of International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN) by all Somali banks was announced by the Central Bank in March 2023. This step has effectively reduced operational risks for financial institutions operating in the country.

With contactless payments facilitated through QR codes, individuals and businesses can now conveniently make secure transactions via banking and other relevant applications, with internet access being the sole requirement.

“The introduction of this contactless payment system will yield benefits for both businesses and individuals,” emphasized the governor of the central bank, expressing optimism about the transformative potential of this new payment ecosystem in Somalia.

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