Operator MTN Rwanda has received approval from the country's Central Bank to set up a fintech subsidiary, Mobile Money Rwanda Ltd.
The firm, which was permitted to run the operator’s mobile money operations from April 27 — is headed by CEO Chantal Kagame. Kagame will drive business development, strategy, innovation, and the day-to-day operations of the company.
According to Rwandan newspaper the New Times, the company has said that the setting up of a fintech is in line with its strategy to lead digital solutions while contributing to the national economic strategy on enhancing cashless transactions that offer convenience.
MTN already provides mobile payment services under the name MoMo, a service launched in 2010. Precise figures are hard to come by, but an April 2021 MTN presentation claims that its Rwandan operation now has about 6 million subscribers. Of these, says the New Times, some 3.2 million are active mobile money users – that is, using mobile money in the last 30 days. Some 2.4 million customers use the company’s MoKash service for both savings and loans.
MTN claims the largest market and value share in the increasingly competitive telecommunications industry in Rwanda. It will certainly be interesting to see how this development affects not just other operators but the country’s banks in a market where only 36 per cent of adults are formally banked and financial inclusion has largely been driven by mobile finance.