by Ahmed Mohamed Yusuf,
CEO and Chairman, Hormuud Telecom
Tuesday June 21, 2022
The recent GSMA report puts Africa at the forefront of the
mobile money revolution. In 2021, the industry processed over $1 trillion in
transactions — 70% of which were in Africa alone. In Somalia, digital payments
have transformed our economy. Not least because of the scale of mobile money
Approximately 155 million mobile money transactions are
recorded in Somalia per month and over 70 percent of adult Somalis use mobile
money services. This is not by chance. Since its inception, Hormuud carefully
considered mobile money’s evolution and so designed our services to meet
We knew that in a rapidly rebuilding country, with so much
potential, we needed a way to safely transact in an environment where 98% of
our currency is counterfeit. We have always been intentional in growing mobile
money access — understanding how we can make this as easy as possible for the
business community, as well as families and individuals.
This is why we introduced a mobile money service (EVC Plus)
that is free at the point of use. This was, and continues to be, a key part of
our business strategy. With 76 percent of Somalia’s population being unbanked,
we believe that mobile money allows those who have been financially excluded to
access the formal economy.
Continuing to chart the road ahead for digital payments is
deeply intertwined with our wider development aims. Access to formal markets
and financial institutions is on the rise — but we need to provide more digital
infrastructure alongside fostering mobile money usage. Somali users have access
to the cheapest data in Africa, and the third cheapest in the world. But
without increased access this is meaningless.
Looking forward, while data is not currently needed to
facilitate mobile money transfers, what our services (like the cheap mobile
internet) have proven is that increasing rural 4G and smartphone access is
crucial. Like the proliferation of mobile money, this increase in data access
will unlock new potential for our customers. This will create a wider financial
ecosystem of services and provide a multiplicity of benefits from e-healthcare
to online education tools to training and skills provision.
We are excited to continue playing a role in, and continuing
to prioritise, Somali innovation.