For 13 years, MTN has bestridden the payment space like a colossus. MTN South Africa’s Mobile Money was officially switched on exactly 13 years ago today in a partnership arrangement with Standard Chartered Bank, South Africa.
According to available data, the platform currently processes 175 million transactions a month with a monthly value of about $4 billion. “It’s been a long road to being active in over 12 African countries. MTN Mobile Money has been changing lives, building Africa, serving customers and delivering transactional values. It has also been another stunning example of innovation in Africa”
When MTN deployed its Mobile Money banking service in South Africa with Standard Chartered Bank, the service was designed as a complementary service for customers who already have accounts, and as such, the service offers a wide range of services, including the option of a credit card.
The leading African telecom company in 2009, extended it the digital payment platform beyond its country of origin to six other markets by launching Mobile Money services in Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, and Yemen.
From this regional foray, the focus changed from added value to bank account holders to transformational services for the unbanked with a simpler service proposition based on money transfers and airtime purchases.
Recently MTN Group reported strong revenue increases in four of its mobile money markets in the opening quarter of 2017. The company’s first quarter earnings statement revealed rising revenues in Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Cameroon, but provided little detail on the actual amounts generated in those, or its other markets’, mobile money services reports financialtechnologyafrica.com
Cameroon was its fastest growing market in terms of mobile money with revenue up 390% during the quarter. In Uganda, revenue was up 34 per cent quarter-on-quarter and accounted for 22% of MTN’s total revenue in the country.
In Ghana, mobile money generated 13% of MTN’s overall earnings during the first quarter while finance and payment services in Ivory Coast accounted for 33% of total revenue.
Due to the lack of a breakdown of figures for MTN’s other markets or specific revenue information, it is difficult to assess its performance, as year-on-year comparisons were also not available.
The operator group provides mobile money services across 15 markets serving 22.2 million customers, according to the latest published figures on MTN’s website.