MTN Mobile Money launched in South Africa

January 30, 2020
Posted in Tech
January 30, 2020 Tumelo Moloi

MTN has launched its Mobile Money (MoMo) services in South Africa in partnership with Ubank.

This follows a Memorandum of Understanding being signed in November 2019 between the two parties.

The agreement enables customers and general consumers to transact and make payments using their cellphone rather than traditional banking services.

MTN South Africa chief officer for mobile financial services Felix Kamenga said MTN envisions these services helping to bridge the gap for those who do not currently use banking services.

“We believe that MoMo will truly help close the gaps between banked and unbanked consumers in South Africa and furthermore help the consumers have other channels to receive and send money safely and securely,” Kamenga said.

“In today’s highly digital world driven by evolving Fintech, we are proud to partner with MTN SA in providing mobile money services,” said Ubank CEO Luthando Vutula.

“It is a great privilege for us as a bank to partner with a renowned brand such as MTN in working on a product which will create value for consumers in the under-serviced and under-banked segments of the market.”

USSD, features and apps

Mobile Money is available to customers via USSD on *120*151#. Customers can alternatively dial *151# for free to use the service.

There is also an MTN Mobile Money Android app available on the Google Play Store, but MTN is waiting for final approval before registering Mobile Money on Apple’s App Store.

Mobile Money is available to South Africans across all networks and offers a selection of basic services.

The initial version of Mobile Money includes:

  • Send and receive money to/from local cellphone numbers.
  • Buy prepaid services like electricity and airtime.
  • Pay for municipal bills and DStv subscriptions
  • Perform “Cash In and Cash Out” transactions at MTN stores or mobile money agents.

However, MTN has promised innovation in the next few months that “aims to bring even more South Africans into the digital economy”.

This includes the ability to pay using Mobile Money at popular retail stores from May 2020 onwards.

Additional information provided regarding Mobile Money includes the following:

  • Users do not need to have a bank account.
  • Users must be South African residents 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.
  • User security is implemented in the form of voice and facial recognition, as well as a PIN code.

There are two types of accounts – a Yello account, and a Yello Plus account.

On the former account, daily cash transactions are limited to R3,500, total transactions are limited to R10,000 per day, and the monthly limit is capped at R20,000.

Yello Plus allows for daily cash transactions of up to R10,000, total transactions limited to R20,000, and a monthly limit of R40,000.

Users can cash in or cash out funds at MTN-branded stores, UBank branches, or via EFT.

African success

The launch of Mobile Money in South Africa follows the service’s “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 MTN.

“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.”

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