Visa Inc has partnered with Somalia’s Premier Bank as part of a wider strategic agreement to strengthen formal banking services in Somalia.

As a first step, the agreement signed between the two parties will enable Visa cardholders in Somalia to use Premier Bank’s ATM network. “We are delighted to partner with Premier Bank as our first client in Somalia.

Visa continues to be at the forefront to help build sustainable financial institutions and inclusive financial systems. We hope that this partnership will encourage further electronification of commerce in Somalia,” said Jabu Basopo, Visa’s general manager for Southern and East Africa.

Visa operates VisaNet, a processing network capable of handling more than 47,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. The ATM channel services include cash withdrawals and balance enquiries. In addition, Visa cardholders can pay for goods and services from merchants that accept Visa across Somalia.

“This partnership is bound to accelerate the growth of electronic payment in Somalia, and ensure that as many Somalis as possible are brought into the formal banking system,” said Mahat Mohamed Ahmed, the managing director of Premier Bank.

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