South Sudan’s communications authority issued its first two licences for nationwide mobile money services in an attempt to reduce the country’s heavy reliance on physical cash.
Newswire Xinhua reported Trinity Technologies would be awarded one of two licences from the National Communication Authority (NCA) alongside one, as yet unidentified, party. As a result any local unlicensed operations currently running are being shut down.
Prior to the launch of licensed services, consumers in the country’s capital of Juba were able to transfer cash using a platform created by MTN Uganda and Safaricom’s m-Pesa. These services were initially created to allow remittance from neighbouring countries.
Trinity Technologies already provides financial services technology in South Sudan and has sister companies in a number of other industries related to the country’s infrastructure.
NCA director general Ladu Wani Kenyi said the introduction of mobile money services would reduce the need for consumers to carry cash.
South Sudan has a relatively low mobile penetration rate with GSMA intelligence estimating the nation had 1.2 million unique subscribers in Q3, against a population estimated by the UN at 13 million. Numbers are split fairly evenly between its two operators MTN and Zain.
A third player, Vivacell, quit the market in Q1 following a row with authorities, while both MTN and Zain have been negatively impacted by hyperinflation in the country since 2016.Subscribe to our daily newsletter