Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

FinTech

MTN has zero-rated 120M MoMo transactions during COVID-19 outbreak

Article Image
MTN has zero-rated 120 million peer-to-peer mobile money (MoMo) transactions with a value of around R43 billion (US$2.5 billion) since the COVID-19 pandemic kicked off in Africa.

In fact, MTN believes the spread of COVID-19 has actually accelerated the adoption of mobile financial services across its African markets as people shy away from physical cash. This trend has been supported by the move by many African operators to waive or reduce mobile money fees as customers feel the financial pinch of the global crisis.

"As many countries adopted partial or total lockdowns, we witnessed an evolution in the type and volume of Mobile Money transactions," MTN Group executive for mobile financial services, Serigne Dioum said in a statement.

"We saw a significant increase in MoMo Pay merchant and bill payments despite an initial decline in Mobile Money agent transactions due to the restrictions. However, we have already started to see a gradual increase as restrictions have been eased," he added.

Over the past few years mobile financial services have grown faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world, helping millions of Africans who were previously unbanked. Africans without bank accounts could not easily access credit and had no way of paying bills or transferring money electronically, but mobile financial services are helping to rectify that.

MTN's MoMo product is used in 16 of its 21 markets across Africa and the Middle East. At the end of March 2020, the group had 35.1 million active MoMo customers, an increase of 0.4 million from December 2019.

Countries like Nigeria are seeing good uptake. In the first quarter of 2020, MTN accelerated its MoMo agency network in Nigeria under its super-agent license, adding 70,000 agents, to bring the total number of registered agents to 178,000.

Serigne Dioum, MTN Group's executive for mobile financial services
Serigne Dioum, MTN Group's executive for mobile financial services

Fintech future
MTN's ambition is to transition MoMo into an end-to-end platform, creating a digital marketplace and connecting consumers to businesses; and businesses to businesses.

MTN's plan to further financial inclusion is focused on offering mobile financial services to more customers and small businesses in more markets, expanding the range of products available via the MTN ecosystem and becoming a "super platform."

"We see this as a significant opportunity to change the outlook for affordable, inclusive, understandable and comprehensive financial services in Africa and the Middle East," Dioum said.

"We have developed a low-cost payment acceptance solution [called MoMo Pay] for small retailers, enabling customers with feature phones to make payments with their MoMo wallets by dialling a USSD code with a feature phone, or by using the MoMo App for smartphone owners."

MoMo Pay is now offered through multiple channels: face-to-face, e-commerce, m-commerce and on the app. MTN believes it has a strong value proposition with no fees charged to the customer, while merchants gain additional value over and above accepting payments because they too can make payments such as paying salaries, bills and suppliers, as well as accessing working capital.

MoMo Pay is live in ten markets, with 250,000 merchants and 2.1 million active users so far.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

Story

SA startup Sendoff is digitizing funerals

South African startup Sendoff is a full-service funeral app that is digitizing the way funerals are organized.

More Innovation hub

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Partner perspectives

5G is lighting up the future of North Africa
By Chris Meng, VP of Huawei Northern Africa Carrier Business Department

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

Story

Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

More Guest Perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 7-11, 2022
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up