The development follows approvals by all the necessary regulatory bodies, including the country’s Reserve Bank, the statement said.

Note that the MoMo service will enable MTN’s South African customers to carry out quick banking transactions like sending/receiving money, saving, and spending/paying for goods. All these can be done right on customers’ phones either with the use of the USSD code *120*151# or by simply using the MoMo app.

MTN Group Limited, whose subsidiary MTN Nigeria Communications Plc is a dominant player in Nigeria’s vibrant telecoms industry, launched the MoMo service earlier this year. This was much to the dislike of bank executives, many of whom perceive mobile money as an unnecessary competition from telecoms and fintech companies.

This notwithstanding, the MoMo service witnessed considerable acceptance in Nigeria, mainly because millions of Nigerians already use the MTN network. It is now expected that the group will easily leverage its success in the telecoms industry to replicate the same success in South Africa. Recall that this is the same thing Kenya’s biggest telco (Safaricom) did with its M-Pesa mobile money transfer service in East Africa.

During the initial phase of MoMo’s launch in South Africa, it will only be available to MTN customers. However, the company has assured that efforts are underway to ensure that all South Africans can access the service in 2020.

While commenting on this development, MTN SA’s CEO, Godfrey Motsa said;

“The introduction of this mobile money service is a pivotal step in MTN’s strategy and represents MTN’s participation in the next phase of increasing convergence we are seeing between financial services and mobile technology.

“We have been deliberate in selecting best of breed technology to enable MoMo. To this end MoMo will run on the Ericsson Converged Wallet and we’re exciting to be partnering with them across the Group.”