Teller me about it
Somalia has gained its first-ever cash machine and it’s been installed in the centre of the country’s capital, Mogadishu, the BBC reports.
Installed by Salaam Somali Bank inside an upmarket hotel, the ATM allows customers to withdraw US dollars due to the shilling being practically worthless to many businessmen and foreigners. Understandably, the machine’s presence has confused some due to the fact that they’ve never seen or used one before in their lives.
The ATM allows people to withdraw money from international bank accounts using Visa, MasterCard and American Express debit or credit cards.
“We may add other international currencies in the future,” said Salaam Somali Bank spokesman Said Abukar. “People from the diaspora and foreigners have welcomed the move with enthusiasm. We are planning to install more ATMs in Mogadishu.”
For the people in Somalia, many live on remittances sent over from family or friends in other countries with jobs. Combine this with a rather rudimentary banking sector, and things aren’t overly positive in the region in regards to banking or financing.
The arrival of an ATM certainly helps start to solve the problem of cashflow and could encourage more people to start using banks again – although the shilling’s reputation certainly doesn’t help matters.
Perhaps this is one of the many regions that could benefit from Bitcoin infrastructure in the future?[Image: BBC]