On Wednesday 6 December 2017 at an event hosted at the historic Rand Club in Johannesburg, South Africa, FORUS unveiled its Global Digital Exchange which essentially is a public utility blockchain and ecosystem solution that will aim to provide a single, global, universal, trusted, user-authentication platform for both mobile and web-based transactions, for the banked and the unbanked. FORUS, which was made by South African engineers, is set for global launch in South Africa, the USA, and the Caribbean in March 2018.
Speaking at the event, Sonny Fisher, the founder of FORUS, said: “This could fundamentally change how we do business in South Africa, Africa and the entire world. We are looking to create a sustainable marketplace within an ecosystem that includes everyone into the digital economy.”
FORUS – which is an acronym for Free, Open, Real-time, Ubiquitous and Secure – is looking to achieve financial inclusion for the poorest and most neglected communities in South Africa by offering a solution that has been developed to enable the alleviation of poverty, the building of a generative economy, the creation of sustainable return for the investors whilst simultaneously generating sustainable capital returns for the communities using the platform.
FORUS Benefits & Functionality
FORUS will look to enable access to a host of financial services for millions previously excluded from the formal economy.
The payment functionality will be made available to all banks, financial institutions, merchants, application developers, and corporate enterprises, and will allow anyone to use this free payment gateway with a built-in advertising platform.
The solution is inclusive and includes:
– Free e-wallet functionality for secure, real-time micro-payments anywhere, anytime
– E-commerce functionality for small businesses/hawkers/spaza (informal) shops via any device
– Pay or receive funds from anyone, anywhere, anytime for FREE
– Shares in an internationally listed company for the first 200 000 000 FORUS Foundation Members
– Access to low-interest loans, funding, financing for capital and business expenditure
– Collective/community affiliate clubs able to pool collateral for large-scale funding projects
– All funds fully insured and underwritten
Fisher claimed that one of the biggest challenges facing similar platforms is the lack of ubiquity. Forus plans to overcome this by making sure that at launch and is positioned to sign up over 100 million members in quick succession using its range of key partners, leaders in the cooperative banking space as well as a host of other large member organisations in South Africa and beyond. The sign-up process will begin on 16 December 2017.
Some of the partners in the FORUS ecosystem include an array of local and international organisations like: Solutions AE, NACSA – the National Apex Co-operative of South Africa, NACFISA – and National Association of Co-operative Financial Institutions of South Africa, Ecentric Payment Systems, Community Investment Base, Laphum’ilanga Transport Services, DGRV- German Co-operative and Raiffeisen Confederation, IPM – Integrated People Management.
How FORUS will work
The FORUS business model uses the distributed ledger technology of the FORUS Core platform, coupled with revenue generated through advertising, loyalty, and group buying discounts to develop a revenue stream for the entire ecosystem. A percentage of revenue is thus returned, in real time, to the community.
The FORUS Core platform will generate revenue via permissioned advertising through Mahala Digital Media, and Mahala.TV, a content management and distribution system that will leverage FORUS’s 100 million-member community as just one potential target market for AI-driven content and advertising.
The MahalaTV and Mahala Digital Media platforms will utilise FORUS’s technology; the secure quick response code (SQR), that enables EVERY video, point of sale, magazine, newspaper ad, billboard, social media platform, or webpage to become a retail point of purchase. Anyone with the FORUS wallet can simply scan/photograph the code and instantly buy whatever is on offer with no transaction costs to the merchant or customer.
Based on this multi-faceted and sustainable functionality, the solution has already been embraced by a wide range of key partners across the globe.