MTN prepares to resurrect mobile money in SA - Mobile World Live

MTN prepares to resurrect mobile money in SA

18 DEC 2019

MTN Group outlined plans to relaunch mobile money in its home market of South Africa in January 2020, more than three years after a lack of commercial viability forced it to abandon the product.

Branded MoMo, the service will be available through an app or using USSD functionality on non-smartphones. Its initial version will be similar to MTN’s standard offer in other markets.

MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa said the forthcoming launch was a “pivotal step” in its strategy.

The company estimates 11 million citizens in South Africa are classed as unbanked, with half of the country’s population underserved by financial institutions.

MTN South Africa chief officer for mobile financial services Felix Kamenga noted: “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.”

“This represents an MTN Group effort as we worked with our counterparts in other markets, tapping into technical and human resources available from established markets which made this journey easier.”

MTN abandoned mobile money in South Africa in September 2016 after four years in operation due to a “lack of commercial viability”. Rival Vodacom previously made a similar move citing a lack of prospects for attracting a mass of users.

At its peak MTN South Africa’s mobile money service had 2 million registered users.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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