March 2

Somalia Issues First License to Mobile Money Service

By Harun Maruf

Somali officials on Saturday issued the country’s first license to a mobile money service, bringing regulation to the widely used digital payment process for the first time.

The Central Bank of Somalia awarded the license to the country’s largest telecommunications provider, Hormuud Telecom, which runs the Electronic Voucher Card or EVCPlus, a free mobile money service used by 3 million of its 3.6 million subscribers in the Horn of Africa country.

The use and circulation of Somali banknotes has been dwindling because of the absence of central monetary policies and because little new paper currency has been printed. But private businesses have nonetheless flourished in Somalia, where unregulated mobile money is extensively used for most buying, selling and transfers.

Photo courtesy of ICT4D.at.

Source: Voice of America (link opens in a new window)

Technology, Telecommunications