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Monday, March 09, 2009

e-payment: Saraf-Mobile goes live in Sudan

Anew secure electronic payment (e-payment) service, Saraf-Mobile has been gone live in Sudan.

Provided by Mi-Pay and Isys, Saraf-Mobile is offering Sudanese businesses and consumers greater transaction freedom, according to the Communication Manager, Mi-Pay, Ioana Dudas.

The product coming from a leading mobile money services provider, Mi-Pay and Isys Global Trading Group, is a value added service to mobile operators and financial institutions.

The manager also said that the product has combined forces to launch a new person-to-person money transmission service which is now live and fully operational in Sudan.

The new platform delivers, Dudas said, secure payments capabilities to companies and individuals using their mobile phones; creating a cash transfer channel packed with application and service potential for financial institutions. The new pan-Arab service is the first phase in a planned roll-out which will cover 22 countries within the Middle East and North Africa.

With ‘Saraf-Mobile’ Dudas said that Sudanese could now transfer money immediately from one recipient to another irrespective of their location.

“People can send money to family and friends; businesses can receive payment direct from customers’ mobiles; and financial institutions can target and serve the huge mobile consumer base that exists within the region. All that’s required to make a transfer is the recipient’s mobile phone number,” Dudas declared.

Explaining that ‘Saraf-Mobile’ represents a true collaborative approach between Mi-Pay and Isys; while Mi-Pay supplies the open-system technical infrastructure including transaction clearance and settlement interface as well managing the regulatory framework, training and associated skills development, Isys, through commercializing the technology and capitalizing on its network of regional offices, provides local management and first line technical support as well as partner recruitment and local regulatory approvals.

Both Mi-Pay and Isys are eager to emphasize the opportunity for Financial Institutions across the Middle East and Africa. Representing a completely managed, customer ready operator independent service, ‘Saraf-Mobile’ is a fully-supportive channel that enables mobile phones to be used for money transfer. It dramatically reduces the time to market and operational overhead traditionally associated with establishing this type of service model. It also provides potential to evolve new revenue streams for financial institutions by providing ubiquitous payments services such as mobile top-up, utilities payment and money collection.

‘Saraf Mobile’ also creates a new authorised cash channel for both the ‘banked and unbanked’. Individuals can simply go to a ‘Saraf-Mobile’ agent to transfer money easily, securely and quickly; the recipient is advised same-time via SMS to go to their local “Saraf-Mobile” agent to collect the transferred cash.

The Managing Director, Mi-Pay Middle East, Glen Jennison, explained, “Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) can deliver huge benefits to countries and people throughout Africa and the Middle East. With the launch of ‘Saraf-Mobile’, Mi-Pay and Isys are demonstrating their foresight and commitment to the region. There is no need for a Bank account, a plastic card or an ATM. Cash is king in the majority of Middle East and African countries and mobile phone penetration can be almost 100%. The opportunities for ‘Saraf-Mobile’, therefore, are immense. Mi-Pay is proud to partner with Isys to deliver financial service solutions that offer greater access and financial freedom to individuals and business alike.”

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