Mobile Money Ecosystem in Somalia

Financial Behaviour

Three quarters of Somalis participate in domestic money transfers, and a third receive money from abroad. Mobile money has become the primary domestic money transfer mechanism, while it is also increasingly being used to receive remittances.

Only one out of four Somalis save money regularly. The most vulnerable save less regularly and through less formal methods. Saving on a mobile money account has become one of the primary mechanisms.

Somalis currently borrow more than they save, with 47% claiming to have borrowed money over the past year. Informal borrowing methods are prevalent, with two-thirds of those who borrow receiving loans from family and friends. The majority of people use mobile money as a primary mechanism to receive loans.

Only 11% of people declare to be insured. Insurance mostly exists in its traditional forms, with clan and family/friends being the most common providers.

Only 19% of Somalis own a bank account, as compared to 76% of those who own a mobile money account.

During the drought, vulnerable groups were more likely to change their financial practices in relation to domestic and international transfers, as compared to their counterparts in the least vulnerable category. IDPs changed their practices the most. Vulnerable groups often adopted mobile money as a new mechanism to send or receive money.

For a majority of the population mobile money has not yet provided them with access to formal financial services beyond mobile money transfers.

The wide adoption of mobile money is driving the demand for more advanced services, such as saving, borrowing and insurance, but demand for these services is still limited. The most vulnerable are more likely to be interested in accessing these additional mobile money services, which partially reflects their more pronounced lack of access to formal financial services.

Domestics transfers
International transfers
Those who save money
Those who borrow money
Those who are insured
Those who own a bank account
Methods to handle money domestically
Methods to receive money internationally
Domestic and international transfers: change in practices during drought
To what extent do you think that mobile money helps foster your financial inclusion (by vulnerability level)?
To what extent do you think that mobile money helps foster your financial inclusion (by type of population)?
Which mobile money functions, that you are not currently using or that do not currently exist, would be the most useful to you and your household?