MTN is set to introduce new services enabling users to send money internationally and businesses to accept payments through a dedicated app, signaling a strategic move into South Africa's rapidly growing fintech sector.

Given that a significant portion of the population lacks access to traditional banking services, mobile operators are expanding their financial offerings across the continent. MTN South Africa's Chief Financial Services Officer, Bradwin Roper, highlighted the focus on the approximately 15% of South Africans who remain unbanked, out of a total of 9 million registered mobile money subscribers.

South African users can now send money in real time to recipients in over 10 African countries if they are also registered with the MTN service. Additionally, MTN launched a virtual wallet for business owners, enabling them to accept payments via the app or QR code. This move aims to reduce the reliance on cash within South Africa's informal "spaza" shops, which are pervasive in townships.

MTN has also introduced more affordable point-of-sale devices, integrating payments and additional services like airtime purchases. Given that approximately 80% of South Africa's population frequents spaza shops daily, this move holds significant potential. Furthermore, MTN unveiled funeral insurance plans that allow customers to obtain coverage for six or twelve months with a single payment, as opposed to the conventional monthly debit orders until the policyholder's passing. These initiatives represent MTN's strategic push into the fintech space and its commitment to enhancing financial inclusivity in South Africa.

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