MTN mobile money is growing bigger

financial inclusion
Mobile Money

MTN Group Increased its fintech transaction volumes by a third in its latest financial year, as it closes a deal with Mastercard that values the business at nearly $526.9 million.

The African operator now has 72.5 million active users of its Mobile Money services, known as MoMo, it said in a statement released on Monday.

“The momentum in volume and value of MoMo transactions remained strong and were up by 32.2%,” it said.

Africa’s young, tech-savvy population is increasingly using mobile phones to bridge gaps in services including banking. This has opened a lucrative and fast-growing space in the fintech sector for wireless carriers.

MTN rivals including Airtel Africa, Nairobi-based Safaricom and South Africa’s Vodacom Group are all at various stages of transforming from basic voice and text mobile use to digitalisation, with a broad aim of separating and monetising the businesses in the longer term. Airtel Africa is mulling a listing for its mobile money business.

MTN said group service revenue growth slowed, increasing 6.8% to $110.7 millions in the 12 months to December, as its total number of subscribers climbed 2% to 294.8 million, according to its statement. MTN declared a final dividend of $0.17 shares less than analysts’ estimates.

The company said it’s also started work on a terrestrial cable to connect 10 African countries. Many nations on the continent are currently struggling with a break in internet connectivity caused by damage to undersea cables.

MTN spent $2.161 millions in the past year enhancing network capabilities across its 19 markets, $5.325 millions of which was spent in South Africa in part to deal with the country’s rolling power cuts imposed by state-owned monopoly electricity provider Eskom.

Inflation and the devaluation of the naira in its biggest market, Nigeria, resulted in much of MTN’s profit for the year being wiped out.

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