MTN Zambia notches up 4.5m mobile money customers
Battle for control over Zambia’s mobile money market is expected to intensify after MTN Zambia announced it has reached 4.5 million subscribers.
At the beginning of the year MTN Zambia’s chief Fintech officer Komba Malukutila put the company’s mobile money subscriber base at slightly over 3 million, but he has now confirmed growth to 4.5 million.
The company said that COVID-19 has fast-tracked digitalisation of many products and services to encourage social distancing, and businesses had turned to mobile money and other cashless options to make transactions.
It added that the Bank of Zambia had increased daily limits and waived fees on nominal transfers via mobile money in a bid to encourage use of mobile money services during the pandemic and this resulted in more widespread adoption- and use of MTN mobile money services.
Malukutila said: “The Zambian government has emphasised the need to achieve universal access and affordable financial services that meets the needs of individuals and enterprises. To actualise this transformation, the government has formulated a five-year financial inclusion strategy providing a roadmap to further accelerate financial inclusion journey in Zambia setting a series of specific action for a wide range of stakeholders such as MTN.”
The operator said it will push for more customers “in order to foster financial inclusion that the government is implementing.”
MTN Zambia CEO Bart Hofker said there is potential for the company to reach six million mobile money subscribers by 2021.
“What we are doing is supporting Zambia’s vision to reach the goal of a cashless economy and financial inclusion. There are 50, 000 sales points of mobile money and 17,000 merchants selling mobile money every day. We are taking this seriously,” he said.
Airtel Zambia and Zamtel are the other two mobile phone operators competing within the mobile money services market.
In July this year, Airtel Zambia said the acceptance of mobile money platforms has continued to increase in the wake of COVID-19 and that its mobile money subscriber base had reached 3 million, up from 480, 000 three years ago.