MTN has debunked rumours that they would be shutting down their mobile money operations. This article looks at reasons why it is impossible for MTN to shut down mobile money
Mobile money is the new bank account. The fact that (almost) everyone remembers their mobile number means everyone remembers their account numbers. It is not the same with bank account numbers. This is just one of the reasons why MTN momo cannot shut down.
In the days of 2008, MTN launched the first momo advert (click to watch).
Since then there has been no turning back. Like every novelty project, MTN momo went through a lot of public scrutiny to be finally accepted. The strategy to start from the rural terrain worked perfectly for MTN as acceptability levels shot through the roof. The middle class and urban dwellers tinkered with the concept for a while viewing it with the usual middle-class scrutiny. They became laggards. The fire has already started in the hinterlands and they have been left behind.
MTN MOBILE MOMO IN 2019
Fast forward to 2019, MTN is celebrating 10 years of mobile money. This feature is not pretending that the MTN mobile money platform is the only one. Of course, there is the AirtelTigo money and Vodacash. MTN mobile money’s leadership of the industry is however key. Their firm grip on the market makes it impossible for MTN momo to shut down
MTN Mobile money now controls 90% of the momo market currently serving 14 million registered customers. They currently aim to reach the 20 million mark by 2021. The rather high subscriber target could be related to the growth trend of the product even after 10 years in existence. One would have thought that after 10 years growth would have plateaued. In a recent speech by the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, he attributed a deeper financial inclusion growth to the availability of mobile money platforms. Financial inclusion rates grew from 41% in 2014 to 58% in 2017, which 17% growth in three (3) years. The volume of mobile money transactions also grew by 40% from 2017 to 2018. Consequently with MTN leading the market, they contribute largely to the financial inclusion agenda of the country
THE SHEER SIZE
The sheer size of the MTN mobile money operations is one reason MTN momo cannot shut down. As at September 2018, the platform has recorded over 1 billion transactions and employing over 124,000 agents across the country with value of transactions having reached GHS 233 billion. Now partnering with over 10 banks the MTN mobile money operations provided GHS 2.84 billion float to these banks.
For MTN themselves the business developments and contribution to their bottom line makes the MTN momo a giant on its own. It would make sense if MTN decides to spurn it out as a separate business. This is the drive for MTN dreaming of becoming the biggest bank in Africa.
MTN MOMO LEADING FINANCIAL DIGITIZATION
The more reason MTN mobile money cannot shut down is the entrenched leadership in digitalization of financial services. Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) tried the digitalization through E-zwich but failed. The emergence of the mobile money platform is what spurred on the whole agenda of financial inclusion and digitalization of payments. Since then the fintech sector has also emerged quite strongly. These developments have provided platforms for sectors like agriculture, retail, financial services and person to person transactions to thrive. These accounts all strongly back reasons why MTN momo cannot just shut down. Momo has in fact become owned by the population rather just a company. The cacophony to be created if momo stops working would be unimaginable. That is why this malicious concept of such false alerts should not be toyed with.
Simply put MTN mono cannot shut down.