MTN records massive fintech growth in Nigeria

MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman.
MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman.

MTN Nigeria’s Mobile Money (MoMo) service ballooned in the year ended December 2020, as the mobile operator drives its fintech business in Africa’s most populous nation.

The telco, which has been seeking to reposition itself and push into new sources of revenue, recorded increased uptake in its fintech business, which includes MoMo, insurance, airtime lending and e-commerce.

In the current period, Africa’s biggest mobile network provider says its mobile money unit continued to accelerate, with a 269.2% increase in the number of registered agents to 395 000, and 4.7 million active subscribers from approximately 553 000 in 2019.

“We expanded our MoMo agent network with an addition of over 280 000 registered agents during the year. This was achieved as we continued to convert our traditional airtime agents in line with our distribution model. Our fintech subscribers increased by more than eight times to 4.7 million, driving higher transaction volumes of over 51.5 million during the year and core fintech growth of 28%,” says MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman.

MTN has continued to weather COVID-19 pressures in Nigeria, recording double-digit growth in data revenue and fintech services.

The telco’s active data subscribers increased by 7.4 million to 36.3 million, which MTN says was supported by growth in gross connections and the expansion of its 4G network in Nigeria.

In the year, MTN connected 12.2 million new customers to its network, bringing the total subscriptions in its biggest market to 76.5 million.

Moolman lamented the introduction of additional customer registration requirements and suspension of the sale and activation of new SIMs towards the end of the year, as this impacted negatively on subscriber growth.

The Nigerian government suspended the sale, registration and activation of new SIM cards in December.

The move impacted MTN, and other mobile network providers in Nigeria, including Airtel and Globacom.

For the year 2020, MTN Nigeria earnings per share increased 0.9% to N10.1, while its profit before tax grew by 2.6% to N298.9 billion.

Service revenue increased by 14.7% to N1.3 trillion, driven by voice and data revenue, which expanded 5.9% and 51.2% respectively.

MTN Nigeria proposed a final dividend of N5.90 kobo a share for the year ended 31 December 2020.

In the period under review, enterprise revenue increased by 1.5%, supported by growth in revenue from devices and fixed connectivity.

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