Emerging Markets Payments (EMP), an electronic payments processing company in Africa and the Middle East, has added Premier Bank as its first customer in Somalia.

Through this partnership, EMP will provide debit and prepaid issuing services as well as ATM aquiring throughout the Premier Bank network.

The alliance will offer Premier Bank customers access to their bank accounts via the ATM network 24 hours a day. Customers can also use their secure payment cards at Points of Sale (POS) across Mogadishu.

Additionally, Premier Bank customers can access their accounts through ATMs and POS across the world while traveling.

The bank has plans to issue 15,000 cards by the end of 2015.

The deal comes as part of a wider strategic agreement between Premier Bank and MasterCard to reintroduce formal banking services into Somalia.

Premier Bank managing director Mahat Mohamed Ahmed said: "We can now provide our customers with a safe, cost-effective, convenient means of transacting, both at home and abroad.

"It is our hope that increasing payment card usage in Somalia will encourage merchants and citizens to demand more electronic payments services as they engage with and contribute to the formal economy."