African giant MTN’s mobile money base increased by 56 per cent to 35 million across 15 countries, with some deployments starting to make a significant revenue contribution to their local units.

Overall, MTN deemed 2015 a “difficult” year, not least because of its well-documented troubles in Nigeria.

Its performance was “lower than expected”, with the blame falling on macroeconomic conditions, currency issues, competition, and “operational challenges”.

Yet mobile money offered a source of optimism on which the group is eager to capitalise. During 2015, it migrated its money platform to what it termed a more agile infrastructure, “enabling converged campaigns and incentives, establishing dedicated functions across operations and providing niche services where MTN has a competitive advantage”.

Mobile money revenue increased by 56 per cent overall and, in some markets, is starting to be a serious contributor to company coffers.  It accounts for 17 per cent of Uganda’s total revenue and 6.0 per cent and 6.2 per cent of each of Ghana and Rwanda’s total revenue respectively.

In addition, markets including Cameroon, Ghana and Ivory Coast showed strong growth in mobile money subscriber numbers.