Telecommunication operator, MTN, says Africa has great opportunities to develop its digital economy and build “distinctly African” services and products.
MTN’s recently published annual report for the 2021 financial year provides an overview of its plans for the fintech industry, whose revenue increased 30.9 per cent to US$1 billion.
Digital and fintech services include value-added services, Mobile Money, insurance, airtime lending and e-commerce.
In a statement released by MTN, they said, “the company is positioning itself as a dominant player in fintech services. We are creating the biggest and most valuable platforms that will be distinctly for African digital marketplaces to reach the widest variety of products and services.”
In addition, the Mobile Money (MoMo) service that is currently available in Nigeria is entering the banking sector after it received a banking licence this year.
Mobile Money (MoMo) provides MTN users with an outlet to send and receive money, and users are able to pay for products and services from participating merchants using the mobile app.
Mobile money is dominating markets outside South Africa that do not have well established mainstream banking services.
According to the company, Africa’s financial services and e-commerce entrance into the market is minimal. Still, these challenges offer an opportunity for companies to accelerate digital transformation within financial services, insurance, lending, remittances and e-commerce.
MTN competitors are also adopting this new trend as part of a global shift to increase revenue streams.
Vodacom launched in June 2021 the VodaPay “super app”, which provides a wide range of digital shopping services and payments methods.
The M-Pesa mobile payments service by Vodacom has been in service for over 15 years. M-Pesa currently operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Ghana and Egypt.
According to a statement issued in March, the platform has over 51 million customers, with MTN’s Mobile Money reaching 56.8 million customers in 2021.