Newly-launched MTN mobile money service is targeting 98 million customers in Nigeria.
In a weekend launch in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, MTN noted that it is setting up MoMo Agent, a super-agent network service, that “will immediately begin providing safe and accessible money transfer services to underbanked and unbanked people across Nigeria”.
MTN subsidiary Yello Digital Financial Services (YDFS) won a mobile financial services licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria in July.
Ferdi Moolman, CEO of MTN Nigeria, said at the launch: “I am excited by the possibilities. We are fortunate to be part of the telecoms industry which underpins the digital economy and is critical to inclusive development and the future economic growth of this great nation.”
South African-owned MTN is the biggest mobile operator in Nigeria, but Nigeria, with a population of 200 million, has been slower than many other countries Africa to launch mobile money services.
Moolman said: “The launch of the YDFS MoMo Agent is especially significant to us. It further demonstrates our commitment to remain focused on enhancing Nigerians’ access to financial services, and in so doing, connect them to what is most important to them.”
YDFS plans to appoint 500,000 agents across Nigeria in order to give customers access to simple money transfer services and other financial services.
Usoro Usoro, director of YDFS, said: “Anyone, anywhere in Nigeria can send and receive money through a MoMo Agent in their neighbourhood.” The service will use “MTN’s extensive distribution network and capabilities”, he said. “Our MoMo Agent network opens up a host of opportunities, creating employment and facilitating business in rural and urban areas.”
Moolman said in July: “We have also applied for a Payment Service Bank Licence, which will enable us in time to offer a broader and deeper range of financial services to those communities and we remain hopeful we will receive approval shortly.”