Mobile money transfers have taken off in Somalia, but it’s a risky business

Friday, October 19, 2018

By Victor Odundo Owuor

A recent World Bank report showed that Somalia has one of the most active mobile money markets in the world, outpacing most other countries in Africa. It’s even superseded the use of cash in the country of 14 million people. Victor Owuor asked Tim Kelly, an information and communications technology policy specialist at the World Bank and the report’s author, to explain the findings and what they mean for the country.

Why is mobile money so successful in Somalia?

Mobile money initially started as a simple exchange of airtime credit between users. Over 10 years ago, mobile network operators formalized this by offering mobile money services. It was quickly perceived as a convenient and safe way of making transactions and storing money.

Photo courtesy of AMISOM Public Information.

Source: PRI (link opens in a new window)