MTN has announced that its mobile money service, MoMo, will go live in January 2020.
MoMo allows users to send, receive, save, and spend money from their mobile phones.
The launch date comes after MTN finalised its engagements with the relevant regulatory bodies, including the South African Reserve Bank, it said.
MTN also confirmed that MoMo will run on the Ericsson Converged Wallet.
USSD and apps
MTN said MoMo will be available to consumers via USSD on *120*151#. MTN customers can also dial *151# for free to use the service.
Additionally, MoMo Android and iOS apps will be available by 30 January 2020.
“The introduction of this mobile money service is a pivotal step in MTN’s strategy and represents MTN’s participation in the next phase of increasing convergence we are seeing between financial services and mobile technology,” said MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa.
The aim of the app is to give 11 million “unbanked” South Africans access to financial services, and also assist the “thinly served” portion of the country’s adult population.
“MoMo aims to bridge this gap with this innovative mobile money offering, providing a payments solution that encourages financial inclusion,” said MTN.
MoMo will initially only be available to MTN customers and will offer basic services.
However, MTN promises “innovation in early 2020 that aims to bring even more South Africans into the digital economy”.
It added that:
- Users of MoMo do not need to have a bank account.
- Users must be a South African resident and 18 years or older.
- Users need to be active MTN customers to qualify for selected promotional offers.
- There are no minimum balances required, no monthly charges, and no automated debits.
The initial functionality MoMo will offer includes:
- Send money to local cellphone numbers.
- Buy prepaid services like electricity and data.
- Pay for purchases at selected till points.
- Perform “Cash In and Cash Out” transactions at MTN stores or mobile money agents.
Success in Africa
The launch date for MoMo locally follows MTN’s mobile money “successes in other African countries”.
“We have learnt what to do as well as what not to do, and we believe that MTN has a significant footprint in South Africa to reach underbanked and underserved communities still heavily reliant on cash to transact,” said the company.
“We see MoMo playing a significant role to both the man on the street as well as the South African economy by enabling enterprise development at the formal and informal level.”