MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS AND FINANCIAL RESULTS

MTN announces domestic money transfer pilot in South Africa

MTN is piloting a domestic money transfer service in South Africa using its MobileMoney system, as an added value to its customers. Customers will be able to transfer and receive money from designated MTN outlets across South Africa in a pilot project to test market acceptance prior to a possible broader rollout during 2009.

“The development of this Money Transfer service is a joint venture between Standard Bank and MTN Banking, offering a safe and secure way for customers to send money home. The service will allow money to be sent directly to the recipient, removing the hassle and cost of locating a traditional ‘cash-out’ location such as a bank’s branch,” says Tim Lowry, MD of MTN SA.

“Convenience for our customers has been the motivating factor in developing this service, and we have identified the stores most frequented by our customers, for the implementation of this service. This has enabled MTN to provide the service in areas typically under-serviced by the banks.”

The person sending the money goes to a participating outlet with the cash and receives a code from the money transfer agent. He then sends the code via sms or a phone call to the recipient of this cash. The recipient then goes to his or her nearest participating outlet and produces the code in order to receive the allocated amount of money. This transaction is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Carefully selected outlets such as the Kosi Bay Supatrade Spar, Langa Spar in Flagstaff, the Spargs outlets in Umtata, Ncogbo, Mount Frere and Idutywa, and Multisave Baragwaneth are included in this pilot. There are currently 14 outlets linked to the service, which is not restrictive to MTN customers.

MTN already has a significant non-urban footprint and its popular Community Payphone network could also provide a base from which to further enhance the reach for the Money Transfer customers.

“As with the success of the Community Payphone network, we see the Money Transfer service as possibly providing increased employment opportunities whilst ensuring that even the most rural community is able to gain access to basic financial services.

“Following technical testing of the base system for the past year, this pilot project is intended to assess the demand for such a service prior to a possible wider rollout in 2009. MTN is also actively seeking partners in the targeted distribution areas to come on board and assist in the rollout of this project, to ensure a broader accessibility to the service,” concludes Lowry.

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