Mobile Money Boom in Somalia

Across the African continent, entrepreneurs are leading the change to improve people�s lives and financial security � and perhaps nowhere are this more apparent than in Somalia. Recently considered a failed state due to years of upheaval, civil war and terrorist attacks, Somalia is slowly but surely recovering.� Its resurgence is due in part to a new form of banking that may make the use of paper currency � the Somali shilling � obsolete.

Mobile money technology takes advantage of a simple fact of modern-day life in Somalia: the majority of the population (at least 70 percent) owns and uses a cell phone.� These phones can then be used to send and receive money securely.� This is particularly useful in a country like Somalia where the banking system is either unreliable or unavailable to a large percentage of Somalis, and where it may not be safe to travel with cash.� Instead, users can simply click (touch) and send payment or receive money for everyday goods and services inside Somalia

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The system has become so popular that many vendors refuse to accept cash, relying instead on the fast, secure payments of mobile money instead.� It can be used to pay for everything from food in marketplaces to hotels and restaurants and even to send money abroad. Its wide adaptation by Somalis makes it incredibly popular, as it can be used virtually anywhere in the country.

There are many ways that Somalis utilize these mobile money services, as can be seen in the case of a Somali Fin Tech company Tawakal Express.� Users outside of Somalia can send money using the online Tawakal Express platform, then to recipients in Somalia.� This money can then be cashed out at any Tawakal branch in Somalia, or be used as mobile money via Sahal, Zaad or EVC-Plus.�

Tawakal Express has also launched the first ever Somali financial mobile app service known as T-Plus, where any user with internet access can send, receive, purchase or transfer funds simply by using the app.� The app is available for both consumers abroad and merchants inside Somalia, and it can be used to send and request money within and outside of Somalia, pay bills inside Somalia, send money from outside of Somalia to a person in Somalia, and for merchants to send and receive payments.� T-Plus is directly connected to most used Somali Mobile Money platform (Sahal, Zaad & Evc-plus).

Users can register their T-Plus accounts using their government identification and completing KYC process to verify their identity.� After this initial process, it�s easy to use T-Plus to send and receive money and to track your transactions.�

Mobile money technology is critical to Somalia�s continued recovery due to the lack of retail banking and fears of continued unrest due to many obstacles the country has been facing.� Using mobile money allows individual Somalis to have a virtual bank in their pockets, keeping their money safe regardless of what happens politically.� This is because many of the systems utilize the U.S. dollar as the primary currency, rather than the Somali shilling.�

Despite these hurdles, mobile money and crypto currency are clearly the wave of the future in Somalia and across Africa.� The use of cell phone technology to send and receive money allows average Somali citizens to send and receive money without fear of conmen and thieves, and has helped the struggling Somali economy get back on its feet after years of turmoil.� With intense competition among telecommunications companies� services such as T-Plus app fueling innovation in this field, Somalia is poised to be a leader in the mobile money and digital currency movement.

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