MTN, the South African Telecom giant has made massive strides to set up MTN to rule Africa. The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted MTN’s Nigerian subsidiary a license to operate mobile money in Nigeria. Yello Digital Financial Services (YDFS) has been granted a full Super Agent License.
This was confirmed by MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman. In a confirmatory statement, Mr Moolman said: “We are very pleased that YDFS has been granted a Super-Agent Licence, which enables us to extend access to financial services to a much broader group of Nigerians. This forms part of our commitment to contribute towards the achievement of Nigeria’s financial inclusion goals. Through the network established by YDFS, MTN is in a position to broaden the availability of financial services for the under-served across the country. This marks a very important first step in leveraging our infrastructure to scale our Fintech initiatives.” According to him, MTN Nigeria has also applied for a Payment Service Bank Licence, which will enable them in time to offer a broader and deeper range of financial services to financially excluded communities. This implies that MTN is now set to rule Africa due to Nigeria’s large population.
Achieving such a significant feat in their Fintech strategy in Nigeria, the company gains another milestone in ruling Africa. MTN is already serving about 15 countries with their mobile money services with mobile money subscriber base of 27 million (with 14 million in Ghana alone) and 233 million in total subscribers in Africa and Middle East.
In May 2019, MTN Nigeria listed by introduction on the Nigerian stock exchange for $5 billion. This was after a successful listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) 6 months earlier, in which MTN Ghana raised GHS1.15 billion (est $215 million) representing 32.7% of the intended target. Currently the share price in Ghana has slumped from GHS 0.79 TO GHS 0.71. This analysts say is due to the recent volatilities in Ghana’s financial sector coming from the banking sector clean up and loss of deposits by depositors. The fundamentals of the company however remain good. The MTN group posted a half-year results which still showed 10% growth in their subscriber base reaching 233 million.
The company further seeks to deepen its footprint in a bid for MTN to rule Africa. It is considering listing on the Rwanda stock exchange while looking to acquire a stake in a local telecom operator to increase its market share in the region.
Ghana Talks Business
Ghana Talks Business sees MTN’s dominance in the fintech space as an opportunity for Africans to develop Africa. It has served as a far reaching platform to provide extensive coverage for financial inclusion in Africa. It has so far provided a collaborative effort for banks to reach far and wide. What central banks however need to guard against is MTN acquiring a banking license in a jurisdiction to become a bank. That will offer a real competitive challenge for traditional banks in terms of holding deposits. So far banks hold the money within the mobile banking space offering them (banks) some liquidity. Once MTN becomes a bank they may want to hold their own money and this is where local banks might suffer from the sheer cash mobilization prowess and the size of MTN.
Until then MTN continues to strengthen its bid to rule Africa and beyond.