MTN Mobile Money Goes Back to South Africa

MTN Mobile Money in South Africa

As at November 2017, the total value of mobile money transactions by Ghanaian users at the end of September reached GH¢109 billion cedis – over 80% of these transactions were done via MTN Mobile money wallets (MOMO).

The giant telecommunication company is looking to relaunch its financial services play in South Africa almost two years after pulling the plug on the business. The business strategy that was accumulating a lot of cash for MTN in Ghana just wasn’t doing same in South Africa.


MTN CEO, Rob Shutter disclosed that the company is building products around financial services such loan offers, investment products and insurances in order to attract customers in South Africa. This was cited by a South African newspaper- Business Day.

In September 2016, MTN collapsed its mobile money business in South Africa due to high banking penetration rates in the country and minimal commercial viability. This move was shortly after rival Vodacom moved its mobile money business

MTN also failed to gain traction with mobile money in Iran, which is 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. MTN introduced mobile money services in Sudan and is looking at launching the platform in two additional Middle East countries in 2018.

“We need to have a proper strategy for the three large ones,” Rob Shutter 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.


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