MTN has announced that its mobile money service, MoMo, already available in a number of African countries, will go live in South Africa in January 2020.
MoMo will allow customers to send, receive, save and spend money, as well as pay for goods and services, using their mobile phones. MoMo will be available to all consumers via USSD functionality as well as via app download in the Google Play store and the Apple App store by 30 January 2020.
During the initial phase MoMo will only be available to MTN customers and offer basic services, but further innovation is promised. Users of MoMo do not need to have an actual bank account but must be a South African resident, 18 years or older, with a valid South African ID. The user also needs to be an active MTN customer to qualify for selected promotional offers.
The initial functionality of MoMo will allow users to send money to any working cell phone number in South Africa; buy prepaid services like electricity, data and SMS bundles; pay for purchases at selected till points; and perform cash in and cash out transactions at any MTN store or Mobile Money agents. No minimum balance will be required. There are no monthly finance charges and no automated debits.
Felix Kamenga, MTN SA chief officer of mobile financial services, points out that “approximately 11 million South Africans remain unbanked, while 50 per cent of the adult population remain thinly served. MoMo aims to bridge this gap.”
South Africa is the latest addition to countries served by MTN’s mobile money services in sub-Saharan Africa. They include Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia.