Africa’s leading Telecom giant, MTN, is set to relaunch its mobile money (MoMo) services from January 2020 in South Africa.
MTN says it has finalized engagements with all the relevant regulatory bodies and authorities, including the South African Reserve Bank and has the go-ahead to relaunch after over one year of MoMo product development.
The MoMo services will be available to all consumers via USSD functionality and via app download by 30 January 2020.
The initial functionality of MoMo will include:
Send money to any cell phone number in South Africa
Buy pre-paid services like electricity, SMS bundles and data
Pay for purchases at selected TILL points
Perform Cash-In and Cash-Out transactions at any MTN store or Mobile Money Agents
Approximately, 11 million South Africans (approximately 23.5% of the population) are still unbanked while 50% of the adult population remains thinly served. MoMo aims to bridge this gap with their innovative mobile money offering that encourages financial inclusion.
MTN abandoned mobile money in South Africa in September 2016 after 4 years in operation citing ‘a lack of commercial viability’ even at its peak of 2 million registered users. Rival company, Vodacom, had earlier made a similar move citing a lack of prospects for attracting a mass of users.
MoMo is expected to run on the Ericsson Converged Wallet available to all MTN customers enabling basic services like sending and receiving money from the start.
Recently, a proposed MTNCoin white paper had been making rounds on the Internet in what seemed like the first African telco coin launch. While MTN came out and denied its affiliation with the paper, a few players have proposed an African-wide stablecoin which, if successful, would truly revolutionize money transfer and trade on the continent.