MTN, the leading telecommunications service provider in Africa, has just announced its plan to launch its mobile money services in three further countries over the next few months, including in Nigeria – Africa’s largest mobile market. The company is partnering with another leading company – Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) – as part of efforts to ensure efficient and quality service is rendered to its customer.
The service is currently in pilot phase based on the approval-in-principle granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a pilot roll-out of mobile money services in Nigeria. The MTN / GTBank Mobile Money service is designed to be a convenient, secure and affordable way of sending money using a mobile phone. This service can be accessed with any mobile phone as long as the subscriber has a duly registered Mobile Money enabled SIM card.
The Mobile Money services being offered on the platform include:
- phone to cash transfers
- scratch card upload
- phone to phone transfers, and
- airtime purchase amongst others.
Counting on the strength of the two companies, the MTN Mobile Money will be going further steps in bringing banking services closer to the population, especially the unbanked who are more likely to have a cell-phone than a bank account. A distinctive feature of the GTBank Mobile Money service is its capacity to allow subscribers, whose SIM Cards have been duly registered in line with Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) recent directive, to send cash to recipients that do not have mobile phones or bank accounts. All the recipient has to do is to visit the nearest accredited MTN agent to cash out the funds.
How to subscribe:
To subscribe for this service, any MTN subscriber can send the SMS “Money” to 400 and follow the instruction prompts. Subscribers who do not have a Mobile Money enabled SIM will have to effect a SIM swap at any MTN authorised dealer or Connect centre.
Our thoughts on MTN Mobile Money:
While MTN is not the only licensed Mobile Money provider in Nigeria, its subscribers size gives it an edge. Also, MTN will also be able to subsidize the service so as to get many subscribers. This is a big challenge for the smaller firms likes myPaga who have to build their subscribers base from zero. Eventually, all Mobile Money service providers in Nigeria will have to offer something special so as to be able to attract and keep their customers. Mobile Money is definitely a service that Nigerians have been waiting for. So, we expect to see early traction for the service.
Have you used any of the Mobile Money service in Nigeria? Or you are a Mobile Money provider? Why not drop a comment and let’s learn from your experience.