Extended Ericsson and MTN partnership to financially empower millions across Africa

09 January 2024
  • Highlights MTN’s Ambition 2025 Strategy commitment, with strong emphasis on Fintech utilising the Ericsson Wallet Platform as a key channel for substantial growth.
  • Agreement formalised during an executive visit by MTN Group to Ericsson Group HQ.

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and the MTN Group (JSE: MTN) have strengthened their partnership to enhance mobile financial services and financially empower millions of citizens across Africa. The partnership is set to broaden the scope of financial inclusion from first-time users to high-end business applications, utilising MTN’s Mobile Money (MoMo) service on the Ericsson Wallet Platform.

The comprehensive suite of services will provide MTN’s customer base across Africa with access to a world-class mobile connectivity-based financial ecosystem.

In addition to ramping up MTN’s goal of advancing financial inclusion for the unbanked, the service provider will offer advanced financial services to address the rapidly evolving digital financial needs of individuals and enterprises.

Powered by the Ericsson Wallet Platform, MTN Mobile Money enables individuals and businesses to conduct secure and convenient banking and payment transactions with ease, directly from their mobile devices.

MTN MoMo customers can securely manage funds, pay merchants and utility providers, and access loans and insurance services with ease and affordability, promoting financial freedom and stability.

The platform places a strong emphasis on financial technology (FinTech), with focus areas including the growth of merchant and e-commerce payments, facilitating national and international money transfers among family members and others (remittance services), advancing banking solutions (BankTech), and offering insurance services (InsurTech).

MTN visit to Ericsson HQ
The agreement was signed during a visit by senior MTN Group executives to Ericsson’s Group Headquarters in Kista, Sweden, where key strategic priorities and collaboration between the two companies was discussed.

More than 63 million MTN active subscribers already use its Mobile Money platform in some form across 16 African countries. MTN MoMo annual transaction value has almost tripled since 2018, growing from USD 76 billion in 2018 to USD 204 billion in 2022. Transaction volumes increased by almost 300 percent during the same period – from 3.5 billion transactions in 2018 to 12.7 billion in 2022.

Ericsson Wallet Platform supports more than 400 million registered mobile wallets and processes more than 2.8 billion transactions, worth more than USD 40 billion, every month through communication service providers and financial institutions globally.

Serigne Dioum, Chief Fintech Officer, MTN Group, says: “At MTN, we are not just connecting people, we are unlocking a world of financial possibilities for every African. With 63.5 million active users, our Mobile Money platform is advancing economic empowerment across the continent. MTN Mobile Money offers a spectrum of mobile financial services, encompassing money transfers, payments, savings, and loans for every consumer, actively driving financial inclusion, and advancing economic empowerment across the continent. Our collaboration with Ericsson is a significant milestone in the execution of our Ambition 2025 – building the largest and most valuable platform business and create shared value for our customers in Africa.”

Michael Wallis-Brown, Head of Mobile Financial Services, Ericsson, says: “Ericsson’s partnership with MTN is a world-leading example of the ability of mobile financial services to financially empower people and business – from giving the unbanked their first opportunity to control their finances, making it easier for women to access financial services and promoting digital inclusion – to enabling more advanced users to access high-end services. This model can be applied in any market anywhere in the world to genuinely empower mobile subscribers of all financial standings. Our valued MTN partnership also supports Ericsson’s AfricaInMotion vision to promote a sustainable and connected Africa.”

Other technical details
The partnership extension includes a transition to public cloud deployments and the refinement of the Open API services framework, fostering the acceleration of fintech innovation in Africa. It will give entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop revenue-generating applications and, by utilising Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD), will enable an automated software development and deployment workflow for the MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) fintech platform across all of its African operations.