MTN South Africa has announced a $2 million (R28 million) partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World Bank Group – to expand its Mobile Money (MoMo) business in South Africa.
The partnership will target unbanked and underbanked people in South Africa through the creation of a network of MoMo agents in the country.
“IFC and MTN South Africa seek to recruit 10,000 Mobile Money Agents in 2021 to increase access to affordable financial services in underserved communities,” MTN stated.
“MTN will identify, recruit, enroll, train, and supervise the new MoMo agents and assist any dormant MoMo agents by giving them support where they struggle to get off the ground.”
In addition, a team of trade development representatives will be created and trained by MTN South Africa and the IFC to manage a portfolio of MoMo agents, support them in growing their business, and managing compliance regulations like Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer.
“The aim is to have viable stand-alone businesses that can increase transactional activity for the agents and increase awareness of MoMo value-add services,” MTN said.
MTN said there would be a particular focus on ensuring female owned businesses were empowered and involved in the financial sector through this programme.
Improving financial inclusion
MTN mobile financial services chief officer Felix Kamenga said that the IFC has assisted with funding and advisory services in several other fintech operations in Africa.
“This partnership provides the opportunity to bridge the digital divide and broaden financial inclusion in South Africa,” stated Kamenga.
IFC country manager for South Africa Adamou Labara said digital technologies are helping businesses connect with customers and supplier and increasing access to lending and payment systems.
“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,” said Labara.
MTN MoMo was initially designed to facilitate the transfer of cash between mobile users, but now also includes access to loans, insurance, remittances, and payments.