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.


MTN Relaunching Mobile Money in SA in 2020

Article Image
MTN will bring its Mobile Money service (MoMo) back to South Africa in January 2020.

The service allows customers to send, receive, save and spend money as well as pay for goods and services using their mobile phones.

It has been successful in other parts of the continent but failed to gain traction in South Africa previously and was pulled from the market in September 2016 due to a lack of commercial viability.

MTN group CEO Rob Shuter announced plans to relaunch MoMo in South Africa at AfricaCom 2018 and originally said it would come back to the country in the first half of 2019. (See AfricaCom 2018 Day 1: The Roads, the Chase & a Monoblock Phone.)

MTN said in a statement that it had finalized its engagements with all the relevant regulatory bodies and authorities including the South African Reserve Bank.

"The introduction of this mobile money service is a pivotal step in MTN's strategy and represents MTN's participation in the next phase of increasing convergence we are seeing between financial services and mobile technology," said MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa.

He said MoMo will run on the Ericsson Converged Wallet.

MoMo will be available to all consumers via USSD functionality as well as via app download in the Google Play store and the Apple App store by January 30, 2020.

MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa
MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa

"We are delighted to make this payments service available to South Africans as many of our people remain unbanked. Our research shows that approximately 11 million South Africans remain unbanked, while 50% of the adult population remain thinly served. MoMo aims to bridge this gap with this innovative mobile money offering, providing a payments solution that encourages financial inclusion," added Felix Kamenga, MTN SA chief officer of mobile financial services.

MTN has almost 244 million customers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. At the end of September 2019 MTN's active Mobile Money subscribers had grown to around 31.7 million across the group. (See MTN Group Grows, SA Struggles.)

"We have learnt what to do as well as what not to do and we believe that MTN has significant footprint in South Africa to reach underbanked and underserved communities still heavily reliant on cash to transact," Kamenga said.

During the initial phase, MoMo will only be available to MTN customers and offers basic services, but the telco promises further innovation in early 2020 that aim to bring even more South Africans into the digital economy.

"We see MoMo playing a significant role to both the man on the street, by empowering our customers to make positive financial decisions, as well as the South African economy by enabling enterprise development at the formal and informal level," concluded Kamenga.

The Staff, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: South Africa's Botlhale AI

Connecting Africa's hot startup this month is South Africa's Botlhale AI, which creates conversational AI tools for African languages while helping businesses engage customers in languages they understand and trust.


SA's Teraco to power data centers with 120MW solar plant

Teraco, the vendor-neutral data center provider, is planning the construction of a 120 megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) energy facility in the Free State province of South Africa.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: January 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in January 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included a $200 million fintech deal between MTN and Mastercard as well as 5G network trials by Telecom Egypt – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: September 2023

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in September 2023 in the Middle East and Africa included more 5G spectrum licenses, vendor and operator strategies, and partnerships – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002