MTN, IFC in $2 million partnership to grow mobile money network


Telco giant, MTN has signed a $2 million strategic partnership with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation to grow its mobile money network South Africa.

Felix Kamenga, MTN South Africa’s chief officer for mobile financial services disclosed: “IFC has assisted with funding and advisory services in several other fintech operations in Africa and this partnership provides the opportunity to bridge the digital divide and broaden financial inclusion in South Africa.”

He added: “The growth and development of 10,000 MoMo agent businesses across the country not only benefits local communities and economies, but has the ripple effect of many more unbanked and under-banked South Africans having an opportunity to manage their money digitally, wherever they are.”

In addition, the agents will be identified, trained and supervised; with a particular focus on ensuring female-owned businesses are empowered.

Adamou Labara, the IFC’s South African country manager said: “Digital technologies are helping connect businesses with customers and suppliers while increasing access to lending and payment systems for individuals and small businesses. Mobile money is a perfect example of this and is needed now, more than ever, to help small businesses to grow and to reach communities where access to financial services is low.”

Currently valued at $6bn, MTN’s mobile money arm added almost 12m new users to a total of more than 46m last year. The group wants to tap into growing investor interest in the mobile money businesses built by African telecoms in the past decade that allow phone subscribers to send or receive money outside banks and increasingly sell ancillary services such as micro insurance.


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