MTN South Africa today announced that it will relaunch its mobile money service, MoMo in January 2020, allowing customers to send, receive, save and spend money as well as pay for goods and services using their mobile phones.
MTN launched a mobile money platform in 2012 – attracting over 2 million customers. However, the company shut the service down in 2016 citing ‘commercial viability’. Then, the company said the decision to shelve its mobile money service did not signify an exit from financial services.
MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa said that there are 11 million people who are unbanked or underbanked – therefore the time was right to re-enter the market.
“Our research shows that approximately 11 million South African’s remain unbanked, while 50% of the adult population remains thinly served. MoMo aims to bridge this gap with this innovative mobile money offering, providing a payments solution that encourages financial inclusion,” he said.
Mobile Money schemes across Africa typically help make cash transfers and payments via mobile phone connections and it is seen as a key measure to bridging financial inclusion.
“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,” Motsa added.
“We have been deliberate in selecting best of breed technology to enable MoMo. To this end, MoMo will run on the Ericsson Converged Wallet and we’re excited to be partnering with them across the Group.”
During the initial phase, MoMo will only be available to MTN customers to offer basic services but promises further innovation in early 2020 that aims to bring even more South Africans into the digital economy.