MTN has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Grameen Foundation to scale mobile based financial services to the entire Ugandan rural community as one of the top Mobile Money adopters around the world.
With the Gates Foundation providing a shared budget support, and Grameen sharing its experience working with the rural population, MTN was to both adopt new Mobile Money based products targeted specifically towards the segment of the Ugandan population that earns under $2.5 per day, as well as scaling up Mobile Money usage and infrastructure support in terms of a robust Agent network with access to training across the entire rural countryside.
“This is a welcome partnership that will go a long way in ensuring that the unbanked people in the rural areas have access to financial services, particularly MTN Mobile Money,” said Charlotte Kaheru, MTN Uganda’s Head of Mobile Money.
The project which is to last for 3 years from November 2011 was subdivided into two phases. The Incubator Phase of the project supported new Mobile Money product development for communities in the rural areas while the Accelerator Phase will be focused on scaling Mobile Money services and campaigns across the rural areas with the aim of capturing an additional 3 million new and active users.
Shaibu Haruna, the MTN Uganda General Manager for Sales and Distribution commented, “MTN Uganda has currently more than 3.5 Million Customers registered for the Mobile Money service. Our Mobile Money Customer base has increased by more than 40% during the last 12 months”.
Currently the MTN Mobile Money service provides access to perform the most popular financial transactions that the ordinary Ugandan requires. This includes purchase of airtime, school fees payment, TV subscriptions, purchase of goods and services, payment of water and electricity bills, payment of salaries and secure money transfer from one account to another, just to mention a few. Through our partnership with Western Union, MTN subscribers registered for Mobile Money can send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions in their mobile accounts from 450,000 locations in 20 countries around the world- this is another first from MTN Uganda.
MTN says it is now working on how to integrate more financial services services onto the platform and that are expected to be announced “in a few months”.