Mobile Money Ecosystem in Somalia

Barriers to Mobile Money Usage

Half of the Somali population can access network signal within a 30-minute reach. However, 30% of population have to walk for more than an hour to receive coverage. The most vulnerable are more likely to experience challenges in accessing network signal.

About three quarters of the population can access a shop that accepts mobile money in less than an hour walk. The majority of the most vulnerable, however, have to walk more than an hour to reach a shop accepting mobile money. According to qualitative findings, they are, nevertheless, sometimes able to order goods and have them delivered remotely by a passing car or truck.

Lack of nearby agents is a problem frequently experienced by people of different vulnerability profiles, as only half of the Somali population are able to reach an agent within a 30-minute walk. The most vulnerable, particularly nomads, experience most difficulties in reaching an agent.

Barriers faced when subscribing to mobile money services are similar across population groups, such as low income, perceived complexity of mobile money, and the offered services not meeting one’s needs. The vulnerable are more likely to experience difficulties opening an account due to a lack of ID, while the least vulnerable are more likely to be unwilling to open an account, because they are satisfied with other alternatives.

Displacement constitutes a barrier to mobile money adoption and usage. According to qualitative findings, IDPs are often concerned about practical aspects, such as charging the phone and having a stable network system.

Distance to the nearest place where there is network
Distance to the nearest shop accepting mobile money
Distance to the nearest mobile money agent
Challenges preventing from using mobile money more frequently or sending higher amounts
Barriers faced when subscribing to mobile money