MTN MoMo has opened up its services to Africell allowing their customers to buy data bundles and airtime from MTN mobile money agents across the country. In the industry practice known as assisted payments, Africell now joins other service providers like Dstv, StarTimes, NWSC, UMEME among others, whose customers pay for their services through MTN mobile money agents. In a model akin to that of a supermarket, MTN MoMo is helping service providers with a payment platform that is cost efficient but most importantly convenient and within easy reach for customers wherever they might be across the country.
Speaking during the launch of this unique service, MTN Uganda’s CEO Wim Vanhelleputte said the new addition makes MTN MoMo a supermarket in which anyone can buy and sell any product or service.
“We are now like a supermarket. A supermarket can have its own meat products and yet sell meat products of other producers. So, for example, whereas MTN MoMo offers services direct to its customers, the platform is now also enabling Africell customers to buy their Airtime and data bundles, just like it enables payments for other services like electricity, water bills or pay TV,” he explained.
This collaboration with Africell underlies the spirit of the already established telecom industry practice of resource sharing which is in line with the guidance
from the regulators Uganda Telecommunications Commission (UCC) and Back of Uganda (BOU) for operators to optimize their infrastructure investment.
“We already share infrastructure like sites and fibre networks, enable mobile money interoperability and now we have created this platform that directly benefits the end user through our wholesale model of doing business,” Vanhelleputte said.
In this collaboration, MTN mobile money agents also stand to benefit by way of earning extra income in the form of more commissions through increased transactions. “We advise our agents to invest more money of their mobile money float and earn more through the various services that continue to get introduced on the MTN MoMo platform,” Mr. Vanhelleputte added.
Through this service, Africell customers will be able to buy from MTN mobile money agents, Africell airtime of all amounts, Africell data bundles as well as their social media bundles. The service renders real time transactions with no delays and upon a successful purchase, the Africell customer receives an SMS message alert as a confirmation of the transaction.
MTN Uganda has the most robust mobile money agent network, in excess of 100,000 agents across the country. You can literally get an agent everywhere you go in Uganda. MTN MoMo is fast, safe, reliable and very affordable.
The MTN MoMo service and its mobile money agent network have grown by leaps and bounds from just a send and receive transaction platform back in 2009, to a service through which you can now pay for products and services, access micro loans among others.
According to the economist Rachel Sebudde, writing for the World Bank blog, “Ugandan’s access to financial services has improved dramatically in recent years. More than half of Uganda’s adult population now has access to an account at a formal financial institution. This is almost twice as many as (was the case) in 2009”. MTN MoMo has been at the forefront in this effort since its launch 10 years ago.