MTN South Africa will have a second go at a mobile money (MoMo) offering in South Africa when a redesigned platform goes live to the public next month after more than a year of development.
The mobile operator said in a statement on Wednesday that the service, which will be available by the end of January, will allow customers to send, receive, save and spend money as well as pay for goods and services using their mobile phones.
It is finalising engagements with regulatory bodies, including the South African Reserve Bank, ahead of the planned relaunch.
Both MTN and Vodacom (with M-Pesa) launched mobile money services in South Africa years ago but both withdrew from the market after failing to gain the traction they sought.
MTN believes it will succeed this time around with a tweaked approach.
MTN will make MoMo available to all consumers via USSD functionality on *120*151# (MTN customers can dial *151# for free) as well as via app download in the Google Play store and the Apple App Store by 30 January 2020.
“The introduction of this mobile money service is a pivotal step in MTN’s strategy and represents MTN’s participation in the next phase of increasing convergence we are seeing between financial services and mobile technology,” said the company’s South Africa CEO, Godfrey Motsa, in the statement.
Ericsson Converged Wallet
“We have been deliberate in selecting best-of-breed technology to enable MoMo. To this end, MoMo will run on the Ericsson Converged Wallet and we’re exciting to be partnering with them across the group,” Motsa said.
The service will be aimed at the unbanked, with MTN’s own research suggesting 11 million South Africans do not use formal banking channels. It said 50% of the adult population is “thinly served” and that MoMo will encourage financial inclusion”.
The company will draw on its mobile money successes in other African markets in which it operates.
During the initial roll-out phase, MoMo will only be available to MTN customers and will offer only basic services. Further features will be rolled out in early 2020.
Users of MoMo do not need to have a bank account but must be a South African resident, 18 years or older, with a valid South African ID.
Initial functionality of MoMo will allow users to:
- Send money to any working cellphone number in South Africa;
- Buy prepaid services such as electricity, data and SMS bundles;
- Pay for purchases at selected till points; and
- Perform cash-in and cash-out transactions at any MTN store or at MoMo agents.
No minimum balance will be required. There will be no monthly finance charges and no automated debits. — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media