In Somalia, there’s now an easy way to access money sent by relatives overseas, a debit card introduced by the Somali international money transfer company Dahabshiil Financial Services.
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Somalis can use it at more than 250 locations in Somali-speaking areas, including Somaliland, at supermarkets, petrol stations and other businesses that honor the card. For the first three months, customers will not be charged a transaction fee.
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If the company’s branches are closed, customers can use a cash-back service allowing them to add an extra amount of money to the total purchase price so they can get cash or buy other goods.
The debit card was introduced this week in Hargeisa, Somaliland, in part, says Dahabshiil CEO Abdirashid Duale, because there’s customer demand from businesses and a steady supply of electricity needed for the Internet, a crucial part of the new debit card system.
“The debit card goes through a system to check for security, [to see if the] customer has money on the card…. Without the Internet [it] will not work,” he says.
Duale expects the card to be available soon in the peaceful parts of Somalia and at some point in the capital, Mogadishu.
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