African telecommunications giant MTN Group and its Nigerian operation have had a good week with both the announcement of a new multi-country mobile payment deal for MTN Group and also a licence renewal for MTN Nigeria in the past few days.
The mobile money partnership is with African payments technology company Flutterwave. This partnership will allow businesses integrating Flutterwave in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia to receive payments via MTN Mobile Money (MoMo).
MTN MoMo is a fintech platform providing consumers and businesses with an electronic wallet, enabling electronic transfers and payments as well as access to digital and financial services.
At the end of June 2021, MTN MoMo had 48.9 million active users and 581,514 merchants. MoMo enables businesses to accept and make payments within the mobile money ecosystem. This new partnership will enable Flutterwave to offer MTN Mobile Money as a payment method to its business customers.
The new partnership will further expand on Flutterwave’s previous collaboration with MTN – which involved Uganda and Rwanda – with the potential of deepening adoption of digital payments and e-commerce in Africa, a sector expected to be worth some $29 billion by 2022, according to Statista.
Meanwhile, MTN Group has announced that MTN Nigeria has renewed its operating spectrum and services licences in Nigeria for another 10 years from 1 September. MTN is Nigeria's largest mobile phone network and generates around a third of MTN's revenue.
Reuters quotes MTN as saying it paid about $174.3 million for the spectrum licence and about $910,750 for the unified access service licence.
This will be a major boost for MTN Nigeria’s plans to expand broadband and 4G access, notably in rural areas. MTN has said it plans to connect around 1,000 Nigerian rural communities to its network this year and an extra 2,000 communities next year.