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Holding firm eyes South Sudan's mobile money service

By Frankline Sunday | December 21st 2018 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Holdings Company Lukiza Ltd is set to launch the first mobile money service in South Sudan, following an agreement with the Bank of South Sudan.

Besides mobile money transfer and payment services, the new service dubbed Nilepay will allow users to make e-commerce and electronic financial transactions, widening financial access to the country’s 13 million citizens.

“We are pleased to participate in the opening up of the South Sudan economy through the provision of digital financial services in partnership with the government, the banks, and mobile network operators in order to foster economic growth through increasing the velocity of money and ensuring access to digital financial services across the country,” said Darius Mobe representative for Lukiza Ltd.

The move could kick-off a flurry of investments in the country’s nascent financial technology sector as operators look to the horn of Africa nation for new growth opportunities.

Financial inclusion

Last month, Safaricom Chief Executive Bob Collymore said the country was in discussions with regulators to secure a licence to roll out M-Pesa services in Ethiopia. This followed the move by the new prime minister to liberalise the country’s telecommunications sector.

“The partnership with Lukiza Ltd in the deployment of the mobile money services platform and offering mobile money services in South Sudan, will widen the financial inclusion net and bring millions of South Sudanese to financial inclusion,” said Bank of South Sudan acting director general, banking supervision Moses Makur.

Lukiza Ltd is a private holdings company headquartered in Juba with investments in real estate, hospitality, trading, technology, and digital financial services.

It was the pioneer company in South Sudan to receive the mobile money platform licence from The National Communication Authority in 2015. The launch will pave the way for other service providers to follow suit.

Nilepay is scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2019, allowing users to conduct mobile banking, airtime purchases, and merchant payments.

The South Sudan government has also pledged support for the service and will adopt it for making salary payments for civil servants, the collection of government revenue, and fund disbursement by local governments across all the States in South Sudan.

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