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MTN Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Hermann Tischendorf as our Chief Technology & Information Officer for Digital and Fintech.
“We are delighted to have a seasoned executive of Hermann’s calibre joining our growing DigiFin team,” says MTN Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer Serigne Dioum. “He brings the skills and experience that will accelerate innovative digital and fintech advancements in line with our strategic intent of leading digital solutions for Africa progress.”
Hermann joins from 4Finance Group, where he was Chief Technology Officer. He has 30 years of experience in the financial services sector, where he has occupied numerous senior roles. Hermann brings a solid track record of success in directing organisational expansion, digital product development, operations management, IT budget allocation, as well as mergers and acquisitions.
At MTN, Hermann will bring transformation and disruption to our mobile payment platform and help improve customer engagement, experience, acquisition and loyalty. He will also be responsible for developing new products and services, building the nascent ecosystem and scaling up existing revenue streams.
Hermann holds a Master of Business Administration and a Diploma with Honours from Karl-Franzens University of Graz, Austria and studied Finance & Banking at the Anderson School of Management, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). His appointment took effect on 1 December 2021.
MTN Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Adekunle Awobodu as our new Chief Financial Officer for Digital and Fintech.
Kunle is a seasoned business and finance professional who has spent most of his career at MTN, including serving as CFO for MTN Nigeria and for the MTN Irancell joint venture.
“We are thrilled that Kunle has joined the dynamic DigiFin team and look forward to what we know will be a valuable contribution,” says MTN Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer Serigne Dioum.
In his 22 years in management roles, Kunle has built processes, teams and dealt with regulatory and compliance issues. Most recently, from 2019 to 2021, he was an Executive Consultant at MTN Nigeria, where he led Oracle implementation and provided support to the CEO and CFO on various financial, tax and accounting matters.
Kunle is a certified General Accountant and has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Banking from the University of Lagos, as well as a Master’s in Finance from the University of Leicester. He also holds several professional certifications.
As CFO for Digital and Fintech, effective 15 September 2021, Kunle’s responsibilities include ensuring the growth of these platforms in line with the Group’s strategic intent – Ambition 2025: Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.
- Partnership will enable millions of MTN customers to pay on global online platforms with a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to MTN MoMo wallet
- Mastercard’s technology will enable new digital commerce opportunities for consumers and merchants with or without a bank account, through a simple and secure payment experience
- Collaboration underpins a new wave of financial inclusion through mobile devices, unlocking opportunities for millions of people across Africa
Mastercard and MTN today announced a strategic partnership to enable millions of consumers in 16 countries across Africa to make global e-commerce payments safely and securely.
Through a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to MTN MoMo (Mobile Money) wallets, consumers and merchants can engage with brands and businesses abroad through digital commerce, extending their reach to an international marketplace and unlocking a host of opportunities.
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile devices are the primary channel used to connect to the internet. According to GSMA, by 2025, it is estimated that there will be 300 million more people using their devices to access internet services. In light of this significant growth, mobile financial services have become the dominant form of digital payments, with twice as many mobile money accounts as bank accounts in the region. As a result, consumers increasingly expect to have access to a broader range of digital financial services.
However, consumers and merchants are mostly restricted to a local base of online and offline businesses, therefore curtailing customers’ ability to engage in global commerce. Through this strategic partnership, MTN customers with a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their MoMo wallets can make payments to global online merchants through a seamless and secure digital payment experience on websites and mobile applications. The service is available regardless of whether or not the customer has a bank account.
The solution will enable consumers to explore and shop at well-known global e-commerce brands and pay quickly and securely for leisure shopping, travel, accommodation, entertainment, streaming services and more. It will also allow small business owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and pay with the virtual payment solution.
“We are very excited about this partnership with Mastercard, which is another step in realizing our ambition to build Africa’s largest fintech platform, accelerating economic and social development through digital innovation to the benefit of citizens across the continent and beyond,” said MTN Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer Serigne Dioum.
“This noteworthy partnership is another step to enable our customers to participate in the global economy. We are resolute that accelerated financial inclusion is a potent enabler of socio-economic development that empowers the most vulnerable in society,” he concluded.
Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President for Market Development, Mastercard Middle East and Africa, said: “This significant milestone will enable millions of MTN customers to benefit from global digital commerce and drive digital and financial inclusion across Africa through easy and secure access to financial services.
“At Mastercard, our innovation strategy is based on partnerships and collaboration. This agreement with MTN shows that we can deliver innovative digital solutions that have a far-reaching impact and realize the true potential of inclusive growth across the continent. Partnering with MTN allows us to accelerate our global pledge to connect 1 billion people to the digital economy by 2025, bringing us closer to a world beyond cash.”
MTN and Mastercard first launched the digital payment solution in 2018 for MoMo customers. MTN, the largest mobile network operator, is the ‘Most Admired African Brand’ based on spontaneous consumer responses in Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands 2020 survey and the most valuable telecoms brand in Africa by Brand Finance Africa.
The company will extend the virtual payment solution offering throughout its Fintech footprint. The expansion of this payment solution will play a significant role in driving the growth of digital inclusion and e-commerce thus increasing MTN MoMo customer inclusion into the global economy.
Initially designed to facilitate the transfer of cash between mobile users, MTN’s MoMo offering is now much broader – including loans, insurance, remittances and payments.
Driven to secure financial inclusion across its markets, MTN Group continues to grow the number of MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) users on its network, a trend that has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By the end of September 2020, nearly 42 million people were regularly transacting on MTN MoMo across 16 markets. This compares to 38 million active users at the end of the first half of 2020, and 35 million at the end of 2019 – ten years after MTN launched MoMo.
Initially designed to facilitate the transfer of cash between mobile users, MTN’s MoMo offering is now much broader. The group works with numerous partners to offer services including loans, insurance, remittances and MoMo Pay, enabling customers to store money in their mobile wallets with which they can then pay for goods or services at registered merchants.
Mobile money services have grown faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world. In 2020, the trend has quickened, and the value of transactions has increased, partly supported by MTN’s reduction in MoMo transaction fees in many operations to assist customers battling the impacts of the pandemic.
In the first half of 2020, for example, the value of MTN MoMo transactions was US$61,2 billion, and the group processed 11 752 MoMo transactions a minute across its markets, up 28% from 9 193 transactions a minute in 2019.
The group remains committed to leveraging its technology to enable a cashless Africa.
For more on MTN’s work to extend financial inclusion, watch CNBC Africa at 17.30 CAT on Wednesday 25 November, when Yolanda Cuba, MTN Group’s chief digital and fintech officer, unpacks our plans.
The spread of COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of mobile financial services, which are increasingly being recognised as a tool to mitigate the use of cash in a world fighting the highly contagious virus.
This trend has been supported by the move by many operators, including MTN Group, to waive or reduce certain fees to ease customers’ financial pressures amid a global economic contraction.
“To date, as part of MTN’s Y’ello Hope response to COVID-19, we have zero-rated 120 million peer-to-peer Mobile Money transactions with a value of approximately R43 billion,” says Serigne Dioum, MTN Group executive for mobile financial services. “This has enabled many consumers and businesses across our 16 MoMo markets to transact and accept payments remotely, allowing them to continue operating despite lockdowns.”
Mobile financial services have grown faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world. Prior to their introduction, most Africans were unbanked. Without bank accounts, people could not easily access credit and had no way of paying bills or transferring money electronically. Mobile financial services have improved access and the use of accounts, underpinning many of the UN’s SDGs.
“As many countries adopted partial or total lockdowns, we witnessed an evolution in the type and volume of Mobile Money transactions,” says Dioum. “We saw a significant increase in MoMo Pay merchant and bill payments despite an initial decline in Mobile Money agent transactions due to the restrictions. However, we have already started to see a gradual increase as restrictions have been eased.”
“These changes, triggered by COVID-19, have enabled the acceleration and scaling of cashless and digital economies. They support our ambition to transition to an end-to-end platform, creating a digital marketplace and connecting consumers to businesses, and businesses to businesses.
We see this as a significant opportunity to change the outlook for affordable, inclusive, understandable and comprehensive financial services in Africa and the Middle East.”
MTN’s plan to further financial inclusion is focused on offering mobile financial services to more customers and small businesses in more markets, expanding the range of products available via the MTN ecosystem and becoming a super platform. We have developed a low-cost payment acceptance solution for small retailers, enabling customers with feature phones to make payments with their MoMo wallets by dialling a USSD code with a feature phone, or by using the MoMo App for smartphone owners.
MoMo Pay is now offered through multiple channels: face-to-face, e-commerce, m-commerce and on the app. It has a strong value proposition: no fee is charged to the customer and merchants gain additional value over and above accepting payments because they too can make payments such as paying salaries, bills and suppliers, as well as accessing working capital. MoMo Pay is live in 10 markets, with 250 000 merchants, 2,1 million active users.
At the end of March 2020, MTN Group had 35,1 million active MoMo customers, an increase of 0,4 million from December 2019. In the first quarter, we accelerated our MoMo agency network in Nigeria under our super-agent licence, adding 70 000 agents, to bring the total number of registered agents to 178 000.
As one of the largest mobile financial services operators, MTN is uniquely placed to continue to drive greater levels of financial inclusion as Africa and the world adapt to a new way of transacting. Accelerated financial inclusion is a potent enabler of socio-economic development that empowers the most vulnerable in society.
MTN today announced that its mobile money service, MoMo will go live in January 2020, allowing customers to send, receive, save and spend money as well as pay for goods and services using their mobile phones.
The announcement comes as MTN finalised its engagements with all the relevant regulatory bodies and authorities including the South African Reserve Bank.
MTN welcomes the positive conclusion of these engagements and looks forward to making MoMo available to all consumers via USSD functionality on *120*151# (MTN customers can dial *151# for free) as well as via App download in the Google Play store and the Apple App store by 30 January 2020.
“The introduction of this mobile money service is a pivotal step in MTN’s strategy and represents MTN’s participation in the next phase of increasing convergence we are seeing between financial services and mobile technology,” says MTN SA CEO, Mr Godfrey Motsa.
“We have been deliberate in selecting best of breed technology to enable MoMo. To this end MoMo will run on the Ericsson Converged Wallet and we’re exciting to be partnering with them across the Group,” adds Motsa.
Says Felix Kamenga, MTN SA Chief Officer of Mobile Financial Services, “We are delighted to make this payments service available to South Africans as many of our people remain unbanked. Our research shows that approximately 11 million South African’s remain unbanked, while 50% of the adult population remain thinly served. MoMo aims to bridge this gap with this innovative mobile money offering, providing a payments solution that encourages financial inclusion.”
“MoMo has been through rigorous testing and we are confident that consumers will reap the benefits of our efforts in this regard. Our investment in our network means that we able to evolve with the ever-changing Fin-Tech landscape, making us the best network for mobile financial service.”
Kamenga also points to MTN’s mobile money successes in other African countries. “We have learnt what to do as well as what not to do and we believe that MTN has significant footprint in South Africa to reach underbanked and underserved communities still heavily reliant on cash to transact.”
“This represents an MTN Group effort as we worked with our counterparts in other markets, tapping into technical and human resources available from established markets which made this journey easier,” he adds.
During the initial phase MoMo will only be available to MTN customers and offers basic services but promises further innovation in early 2020 that aims to bring even more South Africans into the digital economy.
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.
Initial functionality of MoMo allows users to:
- Send money to any working cell phone number in SA;
- Buy prepaid services like electricity, data and SMS bundles.
- Pay for purchases at selected till points.
- 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. MTN customers can get cash back every time they buy something at selected Merchants and there will be a promotional offer of 100% bonus for users who buy MTN Airtime bundles using MoMo will get a free SMS notification every time they use the service. Customers may visit nearest MTN store and speak to a MoMo Ambassador for more information.
We look forward to demonstrating these features to South African’s and media in the new year.
“We see MoMo playing a significant role to both the man on the street, by empowering our customers to make positive financial decisions, as well as the South African economy by enabling enterprise development at the formal and informal level,” concludes Kamenga.
Driven by the belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life, MTN is ramping up its efforts to enhance access to digital and financial services for its customers. The company’s latest Fintech innovation is a mobile remittance application, MTN Homeland, aimed at facilitating money and airtime transfers from Europe to Africa and parts of the Middle East.
Speaking about MTN’s latest Fintech offering, Group President and CEO Rob Shuter said, “The value of remittances from the diaspora exceeds Foreign Direct Investment in Africa. MTN has the largest Fintech and Telecommunication footprint in Africa and is therefore uniquely positioned to go beyond mobile communication by offering instant, low cost digital remittances. MTN Homeland is one more example of how MTN uses Fintech to expand its reach beyond its existing footprint and core business while driving meaningful impact to millions.”
With MTN Homeland, remittances can be made from Europe to Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Rwanda and Uganda, while airtime can be sent to Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.
MTN Homeland also supports MTN’s contribution to the achievement of the tenth UN Sustainable Development Goal, which is to reduce inequality within and among countries. One of this SDG’s targets is to reduce the price of remittances to under 3% of the value of the remittance into Africa – MTN Homeland has been priced with that target in mind.
Commenting on the service, Serigne Dioum, MTN Executive for Fintech expressed his delight at the launch of the App, saying: “We believe this offering will not only make the lives of our mobile money customers on the African continent a whole lot brighter, but those in the diaspora too.” Dioum added that the company is working towards enabling remittances from the US, Australia, UAE and other corridors into Africa.”