A money-transfer company has made a piece of banking history in Somalia – introducing the first-ever debit card in the breakaway region of Somaliland.

The firm, Dahabshiil, hopes eventually to roll the system out to all Somali-speaking areas from Djibouti to Kenya.
They say large shops and hotels in areas with good internet connection and electricity can sign up to the service.
The card was launched in Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa because of insecurity elsewhere in the region.

‘Cashless society’

Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991, when the country’s central government collapsed.
Since then, Somaliland has forged a relatively stable state, despite its lack of international recognition.

Most of the rest of Somalia has been wracked by violence and Islamist insurgencies while Dahabshiil boss Abdul Rashid Mohamed Said told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme he regretted that people overseas hear only bad news from Somalia.

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“We believe Somalis here have the same needs as people in the UK or America and that’s why the debit card will make their lives easier,” he said.

He said he hoped to create a “cashless society” by encouraging customers to link their accounts directly to their cards.
The BBC’s Jamal Abdi says people he spoke to on the streets of Hargeisa hope the new cards will reduce the long queues outside money-transfer agencies.

Dahabshiil has made its name by handling cash transferred by Somalis living overseas to their relatives back home.
Some estimates say as much as $1bn (£610m) is sent into Somalia from the emigrants.

Source: BBC


  1. nice. Next step to spread this card should be offering promotions for the holders of this card. All the best dahabshiil and all the best Somaliland.

  2. That's the way to go Dahabshiil, we congratulate you! I personally use Dahabshiil every month to send money to my relatives in Hargeisa and Mogadishu.

    Good job!

  3. Dahabshil is doing good job for years and stil one of the top Somali Hawaala;however, there is always room for becoming the best. It will be good for Dahabshil to become national bank. No banks in Somalia and Somaliland right now.

    Now the market of hawala is no longer for the few and it look like there are too many Hawala. It is good for consumers like me to have choices. Even non-Somali hawala also taking roots. Last month I was told if I need to send money to Jabouti I would pay two to three dollars of serives fees. The fees now stands 5 dollers except during the Ramadan.

    All Somali Hawala need to lower their service fees otherwise they may loose their consumers. It is business and bunisess has no barrier but who can deliver the service fast and trust.

    It is time for Dahabshil to become national bank.

  4. So far, Dahabshiil has earned the people's trust. There is a possibility he could become a National Bank. Way to go Dahabshiil!

  5. After long since I have got some good information about the debit card which I was looking forward to know. I am so excited to get this allocation in this website at all. I just surprised to get this allocation in this website at all. Take it up…
    online credit card acceptance