MTN MoMo adds services amid digital mall transition

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 29 Sept 2023
Bradwin Roper, MTN SA chief financial services officer.
Bradwin Roper, MTN SA chief financial services officer.

MTN South Africa is transforming its Mobile Money (MoMo) platform into a super app, with the addition of a suite of new financial services.

It has added a business wallet, funeral cover, point-of-sale devices, streamlined payments and international remittances to the MoMo app.

The mobile telecoms operator says these new products form part of its ambitions to become one of SA’s premier financial services providers.

Speaking yesterday at the launch of the new offerings, Bradwin Roper, MTN SA chief financial services officer, saidwith the new international remittances service, MTN MoMo is tapping into the unbanked South African population, to break down barriers to cross-border money transfers.

The broader reach of MoMo is in line with MTN’s mission to provide a low-cost alternative service that enables users to share in the benefits of formal financial services.

The offering facilitates financial inclusion by empowering both banked and unbanked foreign nationals in SA and local residents to send money seamlessly to MoMo users across 12 African countries, without data charges, he noted.

“At MTN, we are committed to offering an alternative to expensive banking services. We are achieving this by introducing value-added platforms to our services that offer mobile users cheaper, more accessible options.

“People, particularly those in rural areas where traditional infrastructure is lacking, seek connectivity, simplicity, reliability and an increasing range of services from a single source. We will continue to work hard to ensure we deliver these kinds of services to as many market sectors as possible.”

In partnership with Clicksendnow, a dealer approved by the South African Reserve Bank, MTN MoMo international remittances are now available in Zambia, Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Congo Brazzaville, Benin, Guinea Conakry, Zimbabwe and Guinea Bissau.

SA’s telecoms firms are increasingly taking advantage of opportunities within the banking sector. Vodacom is also wading deeper into financial services, with its VodaPay super app attracting 3.3 million registered users by June 2023.

A super app, also described as a digital mall, is a mobile application that provides umbrella services – a trend that has gained momentum in SA over the past few years, accelerated by more people taking to online channels as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to MTN, the new MoMo business wallet allows businesses to receive payments directly from customers in real-time and without incurring any transaction fees, opening doors to a large user base of MoMo’s more than nine million users in SA.

Since its inception in 2019, MoMo has evolved to include payments, e-commerce, personal insurance and lending. It also offers prepaid health vouchers, bus tickets, micro-loans, car licence renewals and retail food vouchers. The platform has been integrated with the Zapper QR code service and Nedbank ATMs for cash-out of funds.

MTN SA partnered with financial services group Sanlam on funeral cover, dubbed Funeral Khava, which offers a one-time payment for cover of either six or 12 months.

“The new point-of-sale devices will also allow users to make card payments at a lower service fee at merchants, giving customers the choice to pay for purchases with the MoMo app. The store owner benefits by not having a transaction fee deducted on these MoMo services,” concluded Roper.