South Sudan is set to join the ranks of African countries deploying the Mobile Money technology.
The country is looking to a local infrastructure, Bank it System, developed by Laul Michael Mayen, a software engineering student at Makerere University, Uganda.
Mayen is building the service with Vivacell, one of the local MNOs, and will expectedly take on similar look and feel to Kenya’s M-Pesa and Uganda’s M-Sente.
“Bank it System is very cheap and it is for everyone,” Mayen Says. “It is going to be the same work with M-Pesa and M-Sente, but with different codes and features.”
According to media reports, the Bank it System was tested over the weekend in South Sudan’s capital, Juba with an official release date set for late in the year.
Zain and MTN had had their eyes set on extending mobile money services to South Sudan since 2012, after the country ceded from Sudan a year before, but the plan from both telecoms operators had tailed since its announcement. Kenya is currently leading the African mobile money conversation with the World Bank estimating that transactions through M-Pesa and similar services add up to about 20 percent of the country’s GDP.