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Firm angles for Sh180b Somalia remittances with virtual banking service

By James Wanzala | September 21st 2014

Nairobi; Kenya: A local company Rapid Communications Ltd has ventured into to the Somali market after acquiring a 16 per cent stake in Nationlink Telecom, along with a banking services licence. The stake has enabled the company to roll out virtual banking services in Somalia.

The service will allow the mass market in Somalia to access various banking products virtually through the mobile phone. Rapid Communications currently manages the content management system (CMS) platform for Somalia’s Nationlink Telecom.

New opportunity

Rapid Communications Chief Executive Officer Anwar Hussein said the firm hopes to ride on this new opportunity to take advantage of business remittance in Somalia estimated to be over $2 billion (Sh180 billion) annually.

The service will run on the back of E-mal mobile wallet solution currently deployed in Somalia. Speaking after the deal signing, Mr Hussein said the firm intends to tap into its network of over 5,000 outlets in Europe, Middle East and the US in offering diaspora market remittance and banking products to the Horn of Africa nation.

“With the success of mobile banking in Kenya, Rapid Communications hopes to replicate the same services to the masses in Somalia,” said Hussein.

The deal will see Somalia benefit from expertise of mobile banking and remittances solutions already successful in Kenya. “We are using Kenya as a success case study on mobile banking to implement the same in the ready Somalia market. We are relying on Rapid Communications Ltd to make mobile banking a success in Somalia,” said Nationlink Telcom Somalia President and Chief Executive Abdirizak Ido.

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