Interest-sharing, interoperability fuel Millicom’s lifestyle talk

Interest-sharing, interoperability fuel Millicom’s lifestyle talk

03 FEB 2015

Millicom, the Luxemburg-headquartered telecoms group with mobile operations in Africa as well as Central and South America, saw revenue from its mobile financial services jump 53 per cent to $34 million in its Q4 2014 results.

Mobile money is a core part of the company’s Digital Lifestyle strategy that the group kicked off in 2012, along with pay-TV programming and music.

Indeed, interim CEO Tim Pennington (pictured) used his quarterly statement to talk up Millicom’s achievements in mobile money, including interoperability, interest paid to users and cross-border payments with currency conversion. “These are strong achievements,.” he said.

He also sang the praises of the launch of satellite pay-TV service in Latin America, Tigo Music in Africa and 4G in various markets across both continents. There was also the merger in Colombia with fixed player UNE — the “highlight” of 2014.

Overall, the operator saw a 11 per cent growth in revenue during the quarter to $1.86 billion.

Yet, despite its fast-paced growth, mobile financial services are still only a small part of the picture.

And African markets, led by Tanzania, make up roughly two thirds of the group’s revenue from mobile money.

Just in Q4, Millicom added 1.5 million new money users, bringing its total base for mobile financial services across the three regions to 9.5 million. That’s an increase of 51 per cent over the same period in 2013. However, nearly one third of the quarterly additions came just from Tanzania.

The operator attributed the Tanzanian success to its Wekeza (interest-sharing programme) campaign. And it forecast that 2015 will show the benefits of an interoperability agreement signed with Airtel and Zantel in June 2014, which means users on rival networks can transfer cash to one another via their mobile devices.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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