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MTN unveils launch date for mobile money in SA

Read time 2min 40sec

Starting in January 2020, MTN customers in SA will be able to enjoy the operator’s mobile money service, using their cellphones to send, receive, save and spend money as well as pay for goods and services.

This after the mobile operator confirmed last year that the offering would return, after it was decommissioned in September 2016 in the country due to lack of commercial viability back.

Dubbed MoMo, MTN says the introduction of the service seeks to provide a reliable platform for the under banked communities in South Africa,

According to MTN, the announcement follows finalisation of its engagements with all the relevant regulatory bodies and authorities including the South African Reserve Bank.

“MTN welcomes the positive conclusion of these engagements and looks forward to making 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.”

MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa says: “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.”

“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 excited to be partnering with them across the Group,” adds Motsa.

Felix Kamenga, MTN SA’s chief officer of mobile financial services, expressed delight at the chance to make this type of payment services available to South Africans. “Our research shows that approximately 11 million South Africans remain unbanked, while 50% of the adult population remain thinly served. MoMo aims to bridge this gap with this innovative mobile money offering, providing a payments solution that encourages financial inclusion.”

“MoMo has been through rigorous testing and we are confident that consumers will reap the benefits of our efforts in this regard. Our investment in our network means that we able to evolve with the ever-changing fintech landscape, making us the best network for mobile financial service.”

During the initial phase, MoMo will only be available to MTN customers, offering basic services but promises further innovation in early 2020 that aims to bring even more South Africans into the digital economy.

Users of MoMo do not need to have an actual bank account but must be a South African resident, 18 years or older, with a valid South African ID. The user also needs to be an active MTN customer to qualify for selected promotional offers.

“We see MoMo playing a significant role to both the man on the street, by empowering our customers to make positive financial decisions, as well as the South African economy by enabling enterprise development at the formal and informal level,” Kamenga concludes. 

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