Four months after rival Vodacom South Africa pulled the plug on its mobile payments platform M-Pesa, MTN South Africa is doing the same with its Mobile Money offering.
The move by MTN comes just two weeks after news emerged that it had stopped signing up new Mobile Money customers in order to study the feasibility of the product.
“Following much deliberation, MTN South Africa has taken a decision to decommission its Mobile Money offering due to lack of commercial viability,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. The move does not affect its financial services offerings in other markets in which it operates.
MTN South Africa launched its Mobile Money platform in 2012, and the service has regularly been improved and updated since then, it said.
“This included MTN partnering with Pick n Pay and Boxer to offer its money remittance platform. The Mobile Money platform gained traction by attracting over 2m registered customers,” the operator said.
Despite this, the operating costs of providing a mobile money platform had become prohibitive,” said chief consumer officer Larry Annetts.
“The decision by MTN South Africa to shelve its Mobile Money service does not signify a complete exit from financial services,” Annetts added.
“MTN is still committed to remaining a significant player in the financial services space and we are exploring opportunities [here and in] adjacent sectors.”
The company said it will work with its mobile money partners to ensure that its customers are not adversely affected.
“MTN remains committed to providing its customers with affordable mobile financial services. To that end, MTN will be introducing innovative and customised financial services products in the near future,” it said in the statement. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media