MTN Group to pump US$1.8 billion into data and fintech

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Mtn

Telecommunications group, MTN, has announced plans to invest an additional $1.8 billion to boost its data and fintech services offerings across Africa this year.

This comes as the group’s active fintech users rose to 72.5 million at the end of 2023. According to the company’s 2023 audited financial result released on Monday, the volume of fintech transactions increased by around a third to 17.6 billion, with the value of transactions across the fintech platform up at $272 billion.

The company said the growth was driven by advanced services in payments, bank tech, and remittance solutions.

Recall that MTN group recently closed a deal with Mastercard Inc. that values its fintech business at $5.2 billion.

Acknowledging that the macro-economic conditions in some of its operating environments, especially, forex volatility in Nigeria, will continue to be a challenge this year, MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita, said:

“We are anticipating that the macro conditions in our trading environment will persist in 2024, with naira volatility and elevated inflation the key challenges we will need to navigate.

“MTN plans to invest $1.8 billion in 2024 to position the company to capture the structural demand for data and fintech services across Africa.”

“We maintain our overall medium-term guidance framework, however simplifying our objective for fintech,” Mupita said, adding that MTN was encouraged by the outlook for the fintech business, given the solid growth in advanced services.

“The partnership with Mastercard positions the business well to scale faster and we are excited about the commercial launches of card issuance, acceptance, and remittances across the footprint.”

Justifying the need for further investment in data, MTN Group said it recorded a sustained high demand for data and fintech services in 2023. The Group’s active data subscribers increased by more than 9% to 150 million – half the total subscriber base.

The Group’s active Mobile Money (MoMo) users also increased by 5% to 72.5 million, impacted by a strategic shift in focus to wallet customers in Nigeria and base clean-ups in Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa.

As of December 2023, MTN Group’s total subscribers increased to 295 million across its markets.

“In the year to end-December 2023, data traffic on MTN’s networks (excluding joint ventures) grew by more than a third, with usage up to an average of more than 6GB per user per month.

“To sustain this growth, as well as network coverage and quality, MTN deployed capital expenditure (excluding leases) of $2.167 million in the year,” the company stated.

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