MTN shares soared on Friday after the announcement that Nigerian authorities had approved its licence for the Mobile Money (MoMo) payments service – which is is likely to be a significant revenue stream for the pan-African mobile operator.
Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market.
The company announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria had granted approval in principle for the service, which is the “first step in the process towards a final approval”- the process is subject to conditions by the central bank.
Stocks of the firm hit a day’s high of R174.99 on Friday, off a low of R147.59.
Online payment services are growing at a rapid pace across African markets, given the increased access to the internet and demand for seamless money transfer. In a quarterly update on Thursday, the company said active MTN Mobile Money customers had increased by 2.2 million to 51.1 million, during the period to end of September. Transactions performed on the service were up 67.2% year-on-year to $175.5 billion.
MTN launched the service in South Africa in 2020, and the company has so far described it as “progressing well” with approximately 3.9 million registered users. The number of 30-day active subscribers exceeded 450 000 on 30 September 2021.
“The focus remains on scaling the MoMo business and deepening financial inclusion by driving adoption as well as innovative and relevant service offerings,” the company said.
Mobile Money allows users to make financial transactions using their cellphones, including shopping and entertainment offerings.