MTN is re-launching Mobile Money in South Africa. Recently, group CEO and president Rob Shuter said the telco would bring the service back to SA in the first quarter of 2019.
MTN SA declared it was removing the Mobile Money (MoMo) offer in the country due to lack of commercial feasibility.
The service was first rolled out in 2012 when MTN collaborated with the South African Bank of Athens, Pick n Pay and Boxer stores to provide a mobile money solution facilitating the opening of simple bank accounts through mobile phones.
Mobile money offerings have been flourishing all over the continent but do not have a strong track record locally.
But, Shuter believes it is good time now to bring the services back to South Africa.
He declared, “Many operators have tried many times with mobile money in SA, MTN amongst them. But if you look at everything we have learned across the markets, where it is scaling in the other markets, we believe this is a service that is really competing with cash, but you have to find the pockets of the population that are still predominantly transacting in cash and give them an easy, affordable and high quality service, and we really believe MTN Mobile Money can still work very well in South Africa.”
He specified the service will also be expanded to Nigeria for the first-time next year, “The second thing we are super-excited about is the Central Bank of Nigeria 10 days ago announced a new licensing regime for payment services banks and this regime is very well suited for telcos who want to offer the kind of mobile money services that we have offered across many of our other markets. We will be applying for a payment service banking licence in Nigeria in the next month or so, and if all goes according to plan, we will also be launching MTN Mobile Money in Nigeria probably around the second quarter of 2019.”
He concluded by saying that this has always been a big challenge for MTN to implement mobile money strategy across the group, but it has not been in their two tier-one markets and implementing it across the two tier-one markets will really allow leverage and scale.