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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MTN extends MobileMoney to 20 more countries

MTN Group has engaged, Fundamo, the world’s largest specialist mobile financial services provider, to power its “MTN MobileMoney” service, which will be available to a subscriber base of over 80 million users across 21 countries on the continent.

The deal, worth 9.7m USD, is the largest mobile banking software deal ever to have been announced, and will bring basic financial services to MTN mobile subscribers in largely unbanked populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle-East.

The deal is an extension of the existing relationship between MTN and Fundamo; over “MTN MobileMoney” from South Africa into 20 additional countries.

MTN MobileMoney is a SIM-based, version of Fundamo’s Mobile Wallet Solution ver 3.1, specifically designed to meet the needs of MTN’s subscriber base. Using HSM technologies that offer ATM level security, and a PIN system that prevents sensitive information from residing on the handset, users are entirely safeguarding against theft and fraud.

A press statement from MTN Group, endorsed by Head, Mobilemoney International Development for MTN Group, Dare Okoudjou, said that the solution is also fully compliant with all banking and FICA regulations, enabling banks to login to the system and manage the banking elements of the service, while MTN focuses on customer acquisition and retention.

“MTN MobileMoney” doesn’t require users to setup a bank account, instead offering a variety of services; from money transfer, mobile payments and balance checking to mobile purchases, and the ability to buy airtime in real-time.

Users have the option to receive a branded “MTN MobileMoney” debit card that can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.

“MTN MobileMoney” is anticipated to be a key differentiator for MTN, supporting customer acquisition and retention, while strongly reinforcing the MTN brand in outlets throughout the country that accept “MTN MobileMoney” payments. Initial trials of the service in several markets show a satisfactory level of acceptance from both end users and merchants.

“We selected Fundamo for two key reasons; because they could support the concurrent multi-country roll-out and aggressive time to market that we required for our project and because their solution is mature, scalable and well tested in developing markets, as well as being designed from the ground up to be fully compliant with all banking regulations. With Fundamo’s future proof solution we can take full advantage of the mobile payment market,” Okoudjou declared.

Also speaking, the Executive Director at Fundamo, Aletha Ling, said they were delighted to be extending the relationship with MTN.

“We’re delighted to be extending our relationship with MTN, the leading operator in Africa and Middle-East. This deal reinforces Fundamo’s position at the forefront of one of the world’s fastest-growing and dynamic wireless markets. Mobile wallet capabilities have the capacity to change the face of Africa, unlocking basic financial services, improving lifestyles and stimulating wealth through increased commerce. We’re proud to be a part of these changes,” Ling said.

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