MTN‘s mobile money service, MoMo, has reached the significant milestone of registering one million customers across South Africa, indicating a growing demand for fast and efficient ways to store, send and spend money.
The mobile payment service was launched to the public on 1 February and the millionth customer was registered on 19 June.
MTN saw an increase in MoMo registrations and usage since the nationwide lockdown began in late March, specifically in peer-to-peer remittances, with people sending money to family and friends. Demand for value-added functionalities like purchasing pre-paid electricity and renewal of driver’s licence discs has also picked up considerably.
“We’ve facilitated more than 600 car licence renewals since the service re-opened under revised lockdown level three regulations at the beginning of June, and we expect this to remain a key driver of growth as more people begin driving again and go back to work. This is a clear indication that South African consumers are ready to embrace the digital world, with South Africa fast establishing itself as a primary hub for mobile money,” says Chief Officer of MTN SA’s Mobile Financial Services, Felix Kamenga.
Innovation is core to the MoMo offering – today marks the launch of a range of exciting new features to benefit users. These include rewards for those referring a friend, MoMo Pay for e-commerce, as well as cashback on airtime purchases. Seamless access to food vouchers will be available from the first week of July.
“We are excited to be launching the new ‘Refer a Friend’ feature today. This rewards mechanism allows for a MoMo user to receive a once-off credit of R10 when the friend that they’ve referred also goes on to register and becomes a MoMo user. The original user will also qualify for a percentage of the commission if the referred friend buys airtime,” explains Kamenga.
In another addition, cashback rewards will be provided on airtime purchases. This goes directly into users’ rewards wallets and can be transferred immediately into their main wallets for spending.
From next week, Food Vouchers, from a list of accredited partners – ranging from Food Lovers Market, Makro, Pick n Pay, Shoprite/Checkers to Boxer, Clicks, Dis-Chem, Usave and 3 Star – can be sent using MoMo.
“This is a significant enhancement, as users will have access to vouchers on a single platform, and will be able to, for instance, easily send a grocery voucher to someone in need in place of cash. There’s no need to hand over a credit card or banking details,” explains Kamenga.
With the demand for e-commerce growing rapidly, MoMo Pay for e-commerce is another value-added service launching this week.
“We have an agreement with major partners to enable over 4 000 e-commerce Web sites that will accept MoMo as a payment method. Further to this, MTN has committed to partner with a range of SMEs that offer products and services via e-commerce channels. We expect the overall list of partners to grow to over 30 000 sites over the next several months. This will see these e-commerce sites giving people the option of not using their bank cards to shop online while enabling a range of SMEs to continue operating during these particularly challenging times,” says Kamenga.
For consumers, this means anyone can now do online shopping without the need for a credit card. However, even those with credit cards, who do not trust online payments due to safety concerns, can now use MoMo instead.
MTN brought the lowest-ever social media bundle prices to MoMo users at the beginning of April, while waiving MoMo cash in service fees to offer relief during COVID-19. And innovation to bring even more benefits to MoMo users continues. Among the new enhancements, MoMo cash-ins are now available at retail outlets like Pick n Pay and Boxer.
While initial versions of MoMo were rolled out through one-on-one personal recruitment with agents on the ground in taxi ranks and malls, Kamenga says the service is now offered through digital channels to drive all registrations and new feature releases.
“We have successfully adapted our business model to ensure we can expand our reach and remain on track for exciting future growth. In the coming weeks, we will be adding more retail and SME partners to the mobile money solution. This will see MoMo continuing to enable South Africans to access important, useful services – affordably, safely and conveniently,” concludes Kamenga.