Somalia gets its first cash machine ever

An upmarket hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu is drawing local attention after that country’s first ever automated teller machine was installed there.

The ATM, installed by Salaam Somali Bank, only allows customers to withdraw US dollars, the preferred currency of trade in a country whose shilling is almost worthless. Users can withdraw money from their international bank accounts, using cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

“Some people are confused about how the machine works because they have never used one before,” the BBC's Mohamed Moalimu says in a report on the ATM.

Somalia’s banking sector is recovering from decades of conflict. Many people rely on money transfers from abroad, rather than banking, to do business.

The Salaam Somali Bank, a shariah-compliant institution, is that country’s first international bank. It has three branches and also provides its customers with real-time online banking.