South Africa-based operator group MTN’s guidance for H2 2015 included the continued rollout of its money services, which it described as “a priority”.
The group’s first half results saw a 4.9 per cent fall in revenue to ZAR 69.2 billion ($5.41 billion) but MTN Mobile Money delivered more encouraging news.
Mobile financial services contributed to strong data revenue, which leapt 21 per cent to ZAR 15.4 billion, although the group did not break out the individual financial contribution from money services.
During the first half of 2015, the group grew its number of mobile money subscribers by 46 per cent to 32.4 million. The performance was enabled by expanding its distribution base and product range to include international remittances, savings, lending, insurance and retail payments, it said.
The operator did not reveal how many markets it offers mobile money in now, but its Q1 trading update three months ago said such services were available in 14 operations.
Among the more encouraging is Nigeria, where its Diamond Yellow service continued to gain traction with 3,500 merchants in place and about 4.3 million accounts registered at end-June 2015.
Elsewhere, MTN Ghana now has 4.6 million registered money users, roughly one third of its total base. This strong performance is attributable to an expanding agent network and improvements in customer awareness.
In Cameroon, the number of money subs was 1.7 million at end-June, roughly one fifth of its 10.4 million base.
And MTN Ivory Coast had 2.8 million money subs, out of 8.5 million total base. Healthy take-up resulted from users wanting to take advantage of a remittance service between the country and Burkina Faso.
International remittances might be set for a further boost if MTN signs more interconnect deals with rivals such as the one with Vodafone in April covering a number of East African countries. The interconnect was due to go live in Q2 2015.