Top Network Operators MTN And Zain, See South Sudan As Next Big Mobile-Money Zone

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, will not have to wait any longer to use own mobile money services. According to a report, Africa’s telecom giants MTN and Zain are planning to launch their mobile money services in the one-year old country.

South Sudan has a population of about 34 million. Around 17 million of them are mobile users. The telecoms see mobile money as a great opportunity to traders and service to the country’s population.

There are less than “0.01 bank accounts in South Sudan, a small figure compared with rest of Africa’s 0.3 bank accounts and 1.6 for Western Europe,” reported Reuters. The traders in the country still grapple with cash and have to travel miles in the country with less paved roads and high insecurity.

There are several mobile operators and banks in South Sudan. Neither Vivacell, Gemtel nor Sudani  offer mobile money services prompting mobile users to resort to MTN’s Mobile Money and Safaricom’s MPesa offered by the neighbouring Uganda and Kenya in that order.

The two services are however not authorised in the country as the mobile operators have not officially set up bases.

Some 13 percent of the 8 million people in South Sudan have mobile phones. Zain however expects the number to grow to 36 percent in the next four years. The telco also will have signed up close to 3.2 million on its mobile money service and will have transacted some $1.03 billion.

This is due to increasing demand from individuals, nonprofits and even government agencies in the country, Hakeem Dario, N’Moi CEO Zain South Sudan, told the Reuters.

According to N’Moi, mobile money will the organisations transact and pay their staff efficiently. Via Humanipo

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