Salaam Somali Bank solidify its growth in Somalia banking sector

Tuesday May 21 2024
SSB Photo

Salaam Somali Bank and Nation Media Group (NMG) officials pose for a group photo. PHOTO | COURTESY

By Salaam Somali Bank

Salaam Somali Bank (SSB), headquartered in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, stands as the country's oldest private financial institution.

Since its establishment, SSB has significantly influenced the financial landscape of Somalia, offering a broad array of services including corporate, community, business, personal and investment banking.

SSB boasts the most extensive banking network in Somalia, with 55 branches, 15 of which are located in Mogadishu alone.

The bank was the first in Somalia to achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification in 2022, demonstrating its dedication to quality management standards.

Regulated by the Somali Central Bank since 2009 and a member of the SWIFT network, SSB ensures secure and efficient international bank transfers.


Salaam Somali Bank Deputy Managing Director Dr Said Mo'allim Abukar. PHOTO | COURTESY


The bank's services are comprehensive, encompassing online and mobile banking, and a variety of Islamic banking facilities such as Mudharabah, Murabaha and Musharakah.

SSB also offers innovative products like mobile banking through the Deeqtoon service, SMS banking, and diaspora services tailored for Somalis living abroad.

SSB is at the forefront of technological innovation in Somalia’s banking sector. The Deeqtoon mobile banking service, introduced in 2010, revolutionised banking in Somalia by allowing customers to perform various transactions via mobile phones including convenient account access, transactions, shopping, and bill payments.

This service supports bulk transfers, electronic deposits and withdrawals, and facilitates both personal and business transactions.

The bank also introduced the first debit cards and ATMs in Somalia, enhancing customer convenience with services such as cash withdrawals, mini-statements, and transfers.

SSB’s continuous adoption of high-tech solutions ensures efficient and secure banking experiences for its customers.

Salaam Somali Bank supports business transactions through trade finance in investments, commodities, and equities. For international payments, it utilises the secure and efficient SWIFT system. The bank offers a Trust Account for NGOs, trusts, associations, and societies, providing tailored banking solutions for those in social causes.

Customers can transfer funds between accounts using the mobile account-to-account transfer service. While the E-Payroll service enables seamless electronic payments to employees and vendors, with multiple payment options and security features.

Driving economic progress

With a strong market share of 45 per cent in Somali business banking, SSB has introduced modern banking practices that have been pivotal in Somalia's economic progress. The bank provides industry-leading products and services that foster investment and trade flows, both locally and globally. Its strategic initiatives are aligned with Somalia's traditional and cultural dynamics, ensuring resilience and adaptability in a challenging economic environment.

Small businesses and individuals have greatly benefited from Salaam Somali Bank's Qardh al-hasan services, which provide free micro-finance based on Islamic finance principles. These services have enabled many to access essential capital, fostering financial empowerment and economic growth.

By offering these free micro-finance, Salaam Somali Bank has helped entrepreneurs launch and expand their businesses, creating jobs and stimulating local economies. Individuals have also used the service to improve their livelihoods, invest in education, and meet urgent financial needs, contributing to overall community development and economic stability in Somalia.

Social responsibility and community engagement

The bank has made a commitment to community development, with its influence extending beyond banking services through its independent charitable arm, the Hormuud Salaam Foundation, established in 2013.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, SSB played a crucial role by donating substantial resources to support the Somali healthcare system, by donating over $5 million together with partners during the pandemic in 2020, to support Somalia’s healthcare system and pandemic relief efforts.

And in 2021, HSF collaborated with the Somali Chamber of Commerce to help raise $4 million for the Somalia Action Network Covid-19 relief fund.

The foundation continues to fund various humanitarian and development projects, including Somalia’s first public oxygen plant and numerous healthcare facilities.

SSB places a strong emphasis on social responsibility, contributing significantly to community development and humanitarian aid. In 2023 alone, the bank allocated $5 million to various social causes, including disaster relief, health, and education.

A Vision for the future

Looking ahead, SSB aims to deepen its impact on Somalia’s economic and social landscape. The bank's strategic goals focus on enhancing customer satisfaction through dynamic and competitive products, improving service delivery, and maintaining strong relationships with customers.

SSB's commitment to Islamic banking principles, coupled with its innovative approach and robust governance framework, positions it as a cornerstone of Somalia’s financial sector.

Drive project by World Bank

To help combat the effects of the drought, Salaam Somali Bank is working with World Bank supported project and implemented by ZEP-RE (PTA Reinsurance Company) on the groundbreaking De-Risking, Inclusion, and Value Enhancement (DRIVE) Project. DRIVE aims to broaden access to financial services specifically for drought risk mitigation.

SSB provides savings accounts and ZEPR-RE provides subsidised livestock insurance. Together, they help pastoralists to manage the drought’s impact.

The project offers access to savings accounts and subsidized livestock insurance; cushioning pastoralists against the effects of drought by helping them save and access finance– including them to modern-day financial structures for the first time.

To date, more than 102,000 pastoralists have signed up to access SSB bank accounts. This lifeline incentivises savings among pastoralists, encouraging them to build financial resilience

SSB MasterCard and Visa card services

The Bank offers digital banking solutions to make banking easier, faster, and more secure for its clients. The bank’s MasterCard & Visa service plays a major role in the customer’s management and leads the lifestyle they want by getting online services, Online Purchase, ATMs nationwide use, Online and Mobile Banking, Debit Cards.