MTN rings up Ericsson for money service platform

Money Transfer

MTN SA is considering the use of Ericsson’s technology platform for its mobile money service to enhance its offering, a move that will allow it to provide more value-added data products, it said last week. MTN launched its mobile money service in 2012 with Tyme as its technology partner. Tyme, which was bought this year by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, is said to be considering whether to continue with the partnership. Tyme declined to comment on the options being considered and referred questions to MTN. At the end of June MTN had recorded 2-million mobile money customers in SA.

Ericsson’s mobile money platform, Converged Wallet, allows operators to bundle telecommunications services with financial services to create a "complete end-user solution" for mobile commerce. Ericsson’s platform has already been deployed in a number of MTN markets including Swaziland, Rwanda and Uganda. The race is on among mobile network operators to grow value-added data services such as mobile money to offset the decline in voice revenues. The overall MTN group had 32.4-million registered mobile money customers in the six months to June this year, an increase of 45.8% compared to the same period last year.

MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa said as part of the focus on growing the e-commerce and mobile money operations, the group would be looking at creating an ecosystem to enable a payment method for other internet services. MTN SA CEO Mteto Nyati said plans were under way for the local operation to also ramp up its e-commerce offering. "We have made a conscious decision not to make aggressive investments. But over the coming months you will see interesting things," he said. More people were becoming comfortable with buying online, Mr Nyati said.

Source: Business Day