It seems that mobile money is a major driver of an impressive set of figures from operator MTN Uganda, the country's largest telecom company, which has a subscriber base of about 17.2 million, and is part of the pan-African MTN Group.
In fact the rise announced – a 20% rise in pre-tax profit for the full year 2022 – was boosted by financial technology and data services, according to the company. Fintech and data service sales led a rise in pre-tax profit to 591 billion shillings ($160 million) from 491 billion shillings in 2021. Fintech revenues and data service revenues both increased by roughly a quarter.
Much of this is about mobile money services. As in much of East Africa, mobile payments have grown tremendously over recent years in Uganda as businesses have embraced cashless payments and e-commerce in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
MTN Uganda says some of the businesses that have embraced the MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) offering include supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, hardware shops, fuel stations and salons among others.
In fact MTN Mobile Money Uganda recently announced a MoMoPay Merchant milestone with the number of businesses on the service crossing the 200,000 mark. MoMoPay enables merchants to receive payment for goods and services using MTN Mobile Money.
MTN Uganda listed on Uganda's stock exchange in December 2021, although, as Reuters points out, its initial public offering was undersubscribed.
The nearest rival to MTN in Uganda is Airtel. Statista says that in the second quarter of 2022 MTN held a majority of the share of mobile subscriptions in Uganda with 53%. Airtel reached 42% in 2022.
The other operators are Uganda Telecom and Lycamobile. Africell exited Uganda in October 2021.