Telecommunications group MTN South Africa is preparing to launch – for the third time – a mobile money (MoMo) service in South Africa during the final quarter of this year.
MoMo forms a critical part of the group’s growth prospects, and MTN South Africa is confident that MoMo can mimic the success that saw telephony and the Internet being revolutionised and democratised over the past two decades.
“We are really confident that, this time, we will get it right,” MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa assures.
“We might have failed twice before, but the opportunity stills exists. The problem is still there,” he says, referring to the 17-million unbanked or underbanked citizens in South Africa.
A comprehensive fintech ecosystem has become a key focus and a major driver of new value creation for the JSE-listed company, with the group boasting over 30-million active MoMo customers in Africa, with monthly average revenue per user at $1.30 and customer growth of 8.9%.
MTN has built a “world-class” platform with MoMo technology partner Ericsson, Motsa says.
The group previously reported the integration of an artificial intelligence ‘assistant’ that enables customers to engage with MTN’s MoMo services, including payments, on various social media platforms, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, as well as through SMS.
In addition, MTN plans to deploy its ‘MTN Homeland’ offering, which will allow money to be sent from Europe to MoMo recipients in Africa.
Further, the group is inviting developers and entrepreneurs across five countries to participate in its MoMo access programming interface (API) hackathon.
The hackathon, in partnership with Ericsson, will give app developers based in Ghana, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Zambia the opportunity to create apps using the MTN MoMo API platform.
MTN opened access to its MoMo API in an effort to encourage innovation on the platform and the development of products and other solutions that will create a wider range of digital financial offerings for MTN’s customers, says MTN mobile financial services group executive Serigne Dioum.
MTN and Ericsson will select 12 applicants in each country to create a “useful and usable” mobile app on the MTN MoMo API platform, targeting consumers, merchants or businesses in the market where the applicants have registered.
The preselected applicants will have two weeks to develop their ideas, which can cover use cases beyond payment, as long as the MTN MoMo API is used.
The preselected applicants will need to create a live demo of their app submission.
Finalists can win up to $2 500 and one team member will win a trip to Ericsson’s Innovation Lab, in Sweden.