The Bank of Khartoum has partnered with Kuwaiti telecoms company Zain to launch Sudan’s first mobile money service, dubbed Hassa, which will soon be available to any registered mobile user.

Under the service, customers will be able to carry out financial transactions using their mobile phones, Bank of Khartoum ATMs or by visiting Hassa-registered shops, and perform services including deposits, transfers, withdrawals, utility payments and airtime purchases.

Fadi Salim Al Faqih, CEO of Bank of Khartoum said, “We believe that technology will allow us to increase the financial inclusion in an environment where only 15% of adult population is formally served with financial services, but mobile phone penetration is 75%.”

“Hassa will provide easy, instant and convenient access to financial services through any mobile phone and improve lives,” he added, noting the benefits of a 24-hour service over traditional banking hours.

El Faithi Erwa, Managing Director and Executive Director of Zain Telecom commented, “We’re delighted to be a part of Hassa. The cooperation between both organizations has existed for many years, but it will be crowned by this leap in Sudan’s electronic services.”

Mobile money services have quickly gained popularity in Africa, notably with the rise of M-pesa in Kenya and subsequently across East Africa, but the technology more importantly represents the capacity of digital innovation to work common barriers to development.

Kenya’s technologically-minded Rapid Communications also recently partnered with the UAE’s Al Ghurair Exchange to launch a new remittance service aimed at easing the transfer of money by the African diaspora back to bank accounts across West and East Africa.