A joint venture between Trinity Technologies Limited and Zain Telcoms in South Sudan has seen the birth of the country’s first mobile phone-based money transfer service, mGurush (m for mobile and Gurush for money in Arabic).
According to the Vice President of Trinity Tech, Joseph Arinaitwe, the new mobile commerce platform is a “simple, easy to use customer friendly access menu that makes it fast and convenient for customers and dealers to carry out transactions.”
mGurush provides consumers with a variety of product offerings including bill/service payments, airtime purchases, money transfer services, cross-border remittances, and power payment options. Arinaitwe revealed that the service will work with anyone that has a handset across South Sudan, adding that it is supported by a state-of-the-art platform that ensures system stability and great customer experience.
The launch of mGurush comes after local tech firm, Trinity Technology, received an operating license from the National Communication Authority (NCA) of South Sudan late last year to launch a mobile money transfer system. It subsequently got an approval from the Bank of South Sudan.
With the pioneering of a mobile money service in South Sudan, the country’s financial system is set for a major shift in line with the global trend. “The financial landscape has been changed for the best and forever … We are glad that South Sudan is now a member of E-money group of nations and becomes the 92nd country in the world to start offering mobile money services,” Arinaibwe said.
As seen in other African economies (Kenya’s M-Pesa and Nigeria’s Paga), the new platform has the potential to champion broad digitization of the economy. Mobile money customers will get access to an account that comes with a full suite of services that are relevant to their daily lives.
Moreover, mGurush will help South Sudan in addressing financial inclusion since a large portion of the population’s money is not banked. For the country’s most vulnerable, especially displaced persons and women, the benefits of mobile money are real and extensive. And mGurush will be collaborating with its network partner as well as the Government and humanitarian organizations to ensure ease of access to affordable financial services, The Mail News reports.
With some of the target markets being Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Arinaitwe further explained that the new service will drive economic empowerment and economic growth in South Sudan. mGurush will enable enterprise development, new employment opportunities and uplift the living standards amongst the youth and the entire rural and urban population of the country.
South Sudan’s Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth added that the initiative will create job opportunities for the youth in rural and urban areas. “M-Gurush will create job opportunities to young people both in the rural and urban areas,” Makuei said during the launching ceremony in Juba.
While there are numerous benefits that come with mobile money platforms such as mGurush, the chairperson of NCA, Ladu Kenyi, however, cited likely hindrances to the mobile money service to include high illiteracy rates, lack of identity cards, low coverage and money laundering.