MTN is looking to relaunch its financial services play in home market South Africa almost two years after pulling the plug on the business.
In comments cited by South African newspaper Business Day, MTN CEO Rob Shuter revealed the company is building new products around financial services including loan offers, investment products and insurance, as it looks to boost its offering in the segment and attract customers in South Africa.
The company dropped its mobile money business in the country in September 2016 due to a “lack of commercial viability”, as well as high banking penetration rates in the country. MTN followed rival Vodacom, which shuttered its own mobile money business in the country a few months prior.
Notably, MTN also failed to gain traction with mobile money in Iran, its third largest market, because of similar reasons.
The company, however, had 22 million mobile money customers in 14 markets at the end of 2017 and Shuter holds ambitions to expand this base, as well as develop a new range of services.
“We need to have a proper strategy for the three large ones,” he said, referring to South Africa, Nigeria and Iran.
MTN counts around 2 million customers in Nigeria, but was restricted from growing its base by the government which did not issue the operator with a full licence.
In 2017, MTN also introduced mobile money services in Sudan, and Shuter revealed it was looking at launching the platform in two additional markets in the Middle East this year.