Somaliland: Salaam Financial Facilitates Online e-Commerce Services


By Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Somalilanders are now able to conduct e-commerce globally courtesy of Salaam Financial Services.

According to SMS messages sent to Telesom mobile phone users, customers of Salaam Financial Services customers can now pay their bills as well as purchase commodities online both locally and globally.

The early morning (18th July) SMS announcement message in Somali language translated herein read:

“Salaam Financial informs all its clients that it has a web server card (online prepaid card) which enables the purchase of various items and payments of bills to diverse institutions through the internet”

Our attempts elicit further information from Salaam Officials came to naught after they, officials, said that the central bank does not allow the financial company to publicize or advertise their activities.

The stand-off between the central bank and the local financial services started earlier in the year with the bank claiming that Salaam is operating illegally while the financial institution contending that the laws are there and the government’s bankers has failed to implement them due inefficiency.

Salaam Financial which envisages becoming the leading provider of Islamic Sharia complaint financial products and services in East Africa region is currently providing multi-faceted services in the areas of Remittance, Banking, Financing and Investment Services.

Our sources indicate that the introduction of the online prepaid card is closely connected with advanced plans by Salaam Financial Services to introduce Automated Teller Machines-ATM which are to be initially placed in strategic places in the country before establishing network coverage.

The ATMs which are highly anticipated by Somalilanders are reported to be able to service various credit cards in use in most countries through the ongoing partnership between Salaam financial services and a number of major banking institutions like UK’s Barclays bank, Commerce Bank of Germany, Salaam African Bank, and Bank of Bangladesh among others.

Salaam financial whose services are closely knit with Zaad mobile money transfer offered by Telesom is also expected to benefit its clients through a recent HomeSend remittance services agreement between eServGlobal and Telesom Company.

In an interview with Somalilandsun during the launch of Transparency solutions local projects in Somaliland funded by USAID the operationsAbdikarim Ismail operations manager Salaama Financial Services manager of Salaam Financial services-SFS Mr. Abdiqani Harir Ismail said that his company has eased global financial transactions for the country that has operated for 21 years without access to international bank services.

Said he, “the burdensome practice of carrying suitcases stuffed with dollars by our importers traveling to China has been rendered obsolete after Salaam Financial services introduced credit cards and letters of credit Honoured worldwide”

According to journalist Yonis Mohamed Jama of Dawan media and Somalilandsun the possibility of online transaction shall make life very comfortable for all the sectors as well as put the country in the global e-commerce map.

Says he, “How fantastic shall it be for me to purchase hitherto unavailable simple items like anti-virus software’s for my computer online”

Other Services delivered by SALAAM Delivers to its customers include:

 Personal Banking: This means the credit accounts that are liable for unconditional deposit and withdrawal through cheques and other means of withdrawal.

 Corporate Banking: It means the credit accounts that are liable for unconditional deposit and withdrawal through cheques and other means of withdrawal.

 TT Services: Telegraphic Transfer or Telex Transfer is an electronic means of transferring funds overseas. A transfer charge is collected while sending money.

 E-Banking: Electronic Banking automated delivery of new and traditional banking products and services directly to customers through electronic.

 SMS Banking: Mobile Banking is a technology-enabled service offering from the bank to its customers, permitting them to operate selected banking services over their mobile phones using SMS messaging.

After all is said and done landers, the diaspora and visitors to somaliland are holding their breath in anticipation of the ability to transact business online while crossing fingers for success of the bold initiative by Salaam financial services.

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