MTN Nigeria launches MoMo as part of a bigger financial services ambition

The NSE’s most-capitalised company and Nigeria’s leading telecoms services provider, MTN Nigeria Plc, yesterday launched its much anticipated mobile money transfer service which is called MoMo Agent Network. This is part of the company’s ambition to replicate in Nigeria, the success of Safaricom‘s M-Pesa in Kenya.

Speaking during the launch which happened in Abuja, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman, claimed that that the newly-launched service would facilitate easier money transfer among Nigerians.

The product launch is coming barely two months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted the telco a super agent license to provide banking services.

Achieving Financial Inclusion: Note that MTN’s MoMo Agent Network will specifically target the unbanked population in Nigeria, specifically those in remote areas without easy access to traditional financial services. It is also expected to immensely facilitate the CBN’s bid to actualise financial inclusion in the country.

Note that MTN Nigeria is hoping to become a full-fledged financial services bank once it obtains the necessary approvals from Nigeria’s apex bank.

Heightening the Competition: Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria’s MoMo is set to heighten the prevalent competition in the Nigerian financial services space where Fintechs such as Paga are already playing.  Meantime, the company’s main competitors remain the commercial banks who have dominated the space for years.

MoMo has some advantages that could enable it to compete effectively. The fact that millions of Nigerians already have MTN lines means that the company can easily leverage that to offer its services. Recall that this is the same thing Kenya’s biggest telco (Safaricom) has successfully done with its M-Pesa mobile money transfer service.

Good times for MTN? The possible success of this newly-launched service means that MTN Nigeria Plc is poised for more profitability in a market where it has witnessed consistent success over the years. The company’s recently-released H1 2019 financial results showed that profit after tax increased by 34.8% to N98.9 billion.

Yesterday, the company’s stock ended trading at N138.85 on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, after opening at N140.95.


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