Mali - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing
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Methods of Payment

There are different methods of payment in use in Mali, including cash, check, bank cards, banking transfers, mobile banking, and money transfer services such as Western Union and MoneyGram.  Cash payment is common, including for large amounts.  There are risks related to cash transactions, particularly the use of counterfeit notes.  Foreigners and Malian nationals follow the same process for opening a bank account.  Generally, opening an account requires providing proof of residence, photos, passport or ID card, payroll, proof of business registration, and an initial deposit typically ranging from CFA 25,000 to 100,000 (around $45 to $175). 

The BCEAO central bank authorized the establishment of a credit information office that collects information from banks and sells it to financial institutions.  The credit information office collects financial data and identity information of borrowers and processes them as credit reports and credit scores.  Any borrower who agrees to provide this information receives a report of solvency once a year.

For more information on the credit information office (Bureau d’Information sur le Crédit), please visit BCEAO’s website.

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.

Banking Systems

The BCEAO serves as Mali’s central bank and has an office in Mali.  The banking system is comprised of 14 commercial banks and three financial institutions.  The commercial banks are open to business and have developed partnerships with multinational banks, including from Morocco, France, and the United States.  Mali is a shareholder in a handful of commercial banks.  It maintains a certain influence in the management of these banks, despite a growing presence of international investors.  According to a BCEAO report, the global access rate to financial services was 48 percent as of 2020.  Mobile banking has helped increase access to financial services.

Foreign Exchange Controls

There are no controls on foreign exchange.

U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks

Citibank New York and American Express Bank are the U.S. correspondents for five major banks in Mali: Bank of Africa (BOA), Banque de Developpement du Mali (BDM), Banque Internationale pour le Mali (BIM), Banque Atlantique, and Ecobank.

For additional information, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statement.