MTN and Ericsson to facilitate mobile financial services in Africa

January 9, 2024
2 min read
MTN female attendant attending to a black male customer seated on a yellow bench under an MTN umbrella
  • Five years after launching a mobile money wallet, MTN and Sweden-based networking and telecommunications company Ericsson have strengthened their partnership, extending it for an additional ten years to improve mobile financial services in Africa.
  • By leveraging MTN's Mobile Money (MoMo) service on the Ericsson Wallet Platform, the partnership seeks to increase financial inclusion by serving several customers, including high-end business applications and new users.
  • Per Michael Wallis-Brown, Head of Mobile Financial Services at Ericsson, the collaboration will enable the unbanked population to handle their finances for the first time. It will also help women gain access to financial services, promote digital inclusion, and allow more experienced users to utilise more sophisticated services.

The companies first collaborated in 2014, when MTN Nigeria gave Ericsson complete control over MTN's network infrastructure management, optimisation, and field maintenance in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Port Harcourt, and Asaba.

Then, in 2019, the businesses agreed to a five-year contract extension to deliver Managed Services for Mobile Money services and roll out new products and services in 13 Middle Eastern and African nations.

This partnership saw the launch of the Ericsson Wallet Platform across the MTN footprint on the continent. 

The platform allows users to store, transfer, and withdraw money securely. It accepts payments from merchants and utility providers and provides financial services like savings and loans.

As of the third quarter of 2023, 61.7 million active users of Momo's mobile money service were sending and receiving money via the platform. Compared to the previous quarter, there has been a notable improvement of approximately three million users. 

Furthermore, MTN MoMo's yearly transaction value has almost tripled, from $76 billion in 2018 to $204 billion by 2022. The number of transactions also saw a notable improvement, rising from 3.5 billion in 2018 to 12.7 billion in 2022 — a nearly 300% increase.

Meanwhile, the Ericsson Wallet Platform is critical, supporting over 400 million registered mobile wallets worldwide. It processes over 2.8 billion transactions monthly, totaling over $40 billion, through financial institutions and communication service providers.

In keeping with its expansion objective, Mastercard and MTN's $5.2 billion fintech division MoMo agreed in August 2023 for the former to purchase a 30% stake. The Group's Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Mupita, disclosed that this process might involve three to four partners. 

In August 2023, MoMo Payment Service Bank (PSB) teamed up with Saana Capital, an internationally licenced cross-border company, to enable bill payment services and smooth inbound and outbound transfers across Africa.

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