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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.
- 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.
As business and society, we are seeing a concerning increase in the transmissions of COVID-19 cases across multiple countries. The virus has had a far-reaching impact on our societies and is testing the resilience and tenacity of businesses and individuals alike. Globally, governments and companies are ramping up efforts to help mitigate the spread of the virus. In MTN’s footprint 17 of our 21 markets have COVID-19 infections.
“MTN’s priority is keeping people connected during this period. We need to play our part in the alleviation of the economic, social and educational impact through the support of key institutions such as Health and Education. Driven by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life, we have started rolling out a series of mobile connectivity, digital and mobile fintech solutions for communities across MTN’s markets,” said Rob Shuter, President and CEO of MTN Group. The solutions are aimed at achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure that the macro impact of COVID-19 does not hinder people’s ability to stay connected.
Social distancing amongst other precautionary interventions undoubtedly increases the importance of communities staying digitally connected, particularly to news about the latest developments of COVID-19. Now more than ever, MTN will play its part in using its capabilities and technologies for the good of humanity.
We are also ramping up the roll-out of relief products under our Y’ello Hope package including the supporting of governments and other stakeholders to convey vital information via mobile & digital platforms to keep people safe. Offering the zero-rating of school and university sites to enable learners to access core curriculum and facilitate distance learning and zero-rating some transactions on our Mobile Money platforms in a number of our markets.
MTN operations have already implemented measures aimed at curbing the spread of the disease and easing data costs for communities, examples below:
MTN South Africa:
- Has zero-rated a USSD line for reporting infections and for other critical information.
- There are also two zero-rated Ayoba COVID-19 channels that are already live and are sharing updated news and information.
- As part of MTN SA’s response to the Competition Commission’s Data Service Market Inquiry, the company also announced that with immediate effect, concerned family members and friends can stay in touch through a free 20MB Ayoba Data Lifeline that can be accessed via the Ayoba app.
- The Mobile Money (MoMo) app, will allow for free peer-to-peer cash payments under R200 effective 24 March 2020.
- In the coming days, MTN Nigeria will introduce its Y’ello HOPE package – several new measures as part of a concerted effort to support customers. These include further amplifying governments sensitisation efforts – using more channels to deliver health and safety information.
- Suspending fees for all money transfers using their Momo Agent network.
- The company also plans to announce the temporary closure of some of its stores.
- MTN Nigeria continues to engage and is actively pursuing new ways to leverage its core expertise, technology and infrastructure to support the Nigerian Government’s efforts to keep citizens safe.
- MTN MoMo customers can now send money transfers values up to GHS100 daily to MoMo wallets and other networks for free.
- The company has zero-rated a number of education sites to support online learning. It has also zero-rated the Ghana Health Service’s website so that users can access information about the virus free of charge.
- They also use their digital channels to provide hygiene tips and update customers on the virus and the company’s response to it.
- MTN Irancell has reduced data costs by 60 % for educational websites, it sends awareness messages via SMS and provides access to value added service content at discounted prices. The company also supports health care workers by providing them with free calls;
- MTN Sudan, in collaboration with their Ministry of Health, has sent awareness messages to customers via SMS;
- MTN Uganda has waived fees on its mobile money transfer service for every transaction below UGX30,000 for 30 days;
- MTN Rwanda has waived fees on mobile money transactions for the next 90 days;
- MTN Zambia has waived fees on mobile money transfers up to K150, has doubled the mobile money transaction limits and will give an allocation of FREE SMSs to customers;
- MTN Cameroon has suspended the payment of fees on money transfers between MTN MoMo accounts, for amounts of up to 20, 000 FCFA, for the next 30 days.
These initiatives are ones that have been activated thus far. We expect more momentum over the coming weeks with other affected markets rolling out similar initiatives aimed at addressing their communities’ needs during this period. We will continue to update our stakeholders accordingly as and when additional activities go live.
Access to information is a priority and we remain committed to providing all our 251 million customers and stakeholders with superior products and services in the face of adversity.