Accessing your money just got a whole lot easier in Somalia. As Sonia Legg reports, the Salaam Somalia Bank has put up an ATM machine - a first for an economy still recovering from the impact of more than two decades of war.
The humble ATM has been dispensing cash around the globe for the best part of 50 years. But not everywhere. Somalia has just got its first cash machine, courtesy of Salaam Somali Bank It only dispenses US dollars - the local shilling has little value. And only customers with Visa, Master Card or American Express cards can use it. But Mohamed Olow, the bank's General Director, says it's a sign the economy is improving. (SOUNDBITE) (Somali) MOHAMED OLOW, GENERAL DIRECTOR, SALAAM SOMALI BANK SAYING: "We launched this ATM because there is a great need now among Somali people. We are planning to install across the country in coming months." Commercial banking in Somalia disappeared in the early 1990s when civil war broke out. In recent years that's been replaced by an Islamist militant Insurgency But there are signs of stability, says one bank customer. (SOUNDBITE) (Somali) ABDISHAKUR MOHAMED, MOGADISHU RESIDENT SAYING: "It is a good to have an ATM in Mogadishu. Before it was hard to withdraw money from Master Card or Visa and it shows how our country is making progress." 40% of Somali families rely on remittance from another country They largely use informal money firms to serve as intermediaries between them and foreign banks. One cash point won't change much - but it is seen as a symbol that the country is starting to emerge from decades of conflict.