MTN to rollout MobileMoney in 21 countries
Called MTN MobileMoney, the service will enable users to check their balance, make payments, transfer money, purchase airtime, and eventually pay utility bills. MobileMoney also allows users to send cash to non-MTN subscribers, who receive codes when money is sent to them that can be redeemed by agents authorized by MTN.
MTN has extended its existing agreement in South Africa with mobile financial services provider Fundamo in a US$ 9.7 million (EUR 7.1 million) deal that will see MobileMoney rolled out across its entire footprint in the next 12 to 18 months. Fundamo provides the latest version of its Mobile Wallet platform for users to manage their accounts, plus secure back office tools that enable MTN to operate the service. The operation of MobileMoney is based on a small secure application, developed by Fundamo, installed in the SIM. This way, the application is presented in a simple, menu driven interface, and as the operator controls the delivery of the SIM to the customer, it can be installed on every SIM card, and all the user has to do to activate MobileMoney is sign up to the service.
The service went live in Uganda last week and five additional trials are currently underway in Benin, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and Liberia. However, MTN is not expecting its mobile payment services to catch on particularly quickly, as the company has learnt during its South Africa experience to cope with all types of barriers, including regulation. MTN has to work with banking watchdogs in every market in order to educate the authorities about the services they intend to offer, and to gain an understanding of the local regulatory environment.