Mastercard, MyBank and Network international have partnered to launch a new Mastercard debit card that enables online shopping in Somalia.

The launch is also part of continued efforts to expand access to the digital economy and drive financial inclusion in Somalia.

The new physical card is a first for MyBank in the country, and will enable consumers to transact in-store at various points-of-sale and at ATMs. Consumers will also be able to make online purchases through e-commerce channels. These services will benefit underserved sectors in Somalia, through the provision of additional transaction terminals, enabling wider financial inclusion in the country.

With the card industry in Somalia still relatively new, progress made in improving the usage benefits of cards is paramount to growing the economy. In 2015, Mastercard became the first international payments network to make the issuing and acceptance of card payments possible in the country.

Speaking at the partnership announcement, Shehryar Ali, Mastercard country manager for East Africa said, “As Mastercard, this is the first of many as we are enabling digital inclusion in Somalia. Through this collaboration, we are advancing the banking sector in this market, increasing digital payments and building choice in a strong digital economy that can help unlock financial inclusion. Many countries across the Sub-Saharan region are successfully adapting to e-commerce services and QR solutions, simplifying transactions and making the payment process more efficient for all stakeholders.”

On his part, Abdulrazak M. Ahmed, MyBank CEO said, “We’re proud to be taking this important step towards providing safe and efficient access to financial services to people and businesses in Somalia. Partnering with Mastercard, and Network International which brings considerable expertise in the global payments technology space, confidently positions us to be able to do so.”