Qatar Investment Authority invests US$200m in Airtel Africa’s mobile money unit

AFRICA – Telecoms operator Airtel Africa has announced that it has secured another investment from Qatar Holding LLC for its mobile money arm. Qatar Holding LLC IA is an affiliate of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar with over US$300 billion in assets. The Middle Eastern corporation is set to invest US$200 million into AMC BV through a secondary purchase of shares from Airtel Africa. In April 2021, Mastercard invested US$100 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV) — the mobile money business of telecom Airtel Africa…

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Fintech company Semoa, Ecobank to enable mobile money users carry out banking faster and easier

TOGO – Fintech company Semoa has partnered The Ecobank Group to enable mobile money users in Togo to carry out banking faster and easier, across West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) through a new digital banking service via Whatsapp called “Express cash by Semoa”. The Ecobank Group, whose network covers 35 countries across Africa, is the first bank to integrate this type of service at its ATMs and Express Point Agency locations. Customers simply send a Whatsapp message – which means the service is available 24/7 – to Semoa’s…

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Telecommunication company Nexttel set to launch its mobile money service

CAMEROON – Viettel Cameroon SA, a privately-owned mobile telecommunications network service provider which operates under the brand name Nexttel, is set to enter the mobile money market in the country. The market is already dominated by MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroun which run MTN MoMo and Orange Money respectively. Nexttel General Manager Benoit Yaoussou announced recently that they will roll out their own mobile money service called Nexttel Possa before the end of 2021. Yaoussou said the company will also prioritise the extension and stabilisation of its network. Nexttel already…

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MTN gets US$2m from IFC to expand its mobile money business MoMo

SOUTH AFRICA – MTN South Africa has announced a US$2 million deal with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to expand MTN’s Mobile Money (MoMo) business in South Africa. The telco55 said the partnership will target the unbanked and underbanked population through establishing a strong network of MoMo agents in the country. According to a statement released by MTN, the partners will look to recruit 10,000 mobile money agents this year. The mobile network operator will identify, recruit, enrol, train, and supervise the new…

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Hormuud Telecom unveils mobile money service in Somalia

SOMALIA – Telecommunication company Hormuud Telecom, has launched the country’s first native mobile money app, WAAFI. The mobile money app will be available to customers across the country, providing access to a variety of digital resources and allow citizens to make in-country bank transfers using their phones, which is a first in Somalia. “Somalia is a one-of-a-kind example of a country where digital adoption is widespread across all age groups and demographics,” said Ahmed Mohammed Yuusuf Hormuud’s CEO and chairman. “We are continuing to see a move towards a position…

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Ethio Telecom launches mobile money service TeleBirr

ETHIOPIA – Telecommunication company Ethio Telecom has announced the roll out of a mobile money service TeleBirr, which will be  available to its subscribers from May 2021. The telco has made the move to consolidate its market dominance before the entry of new operators into the country. The TeleBirr mobile money service will allow customers to send, receive and store money using their mobile phones and customers will be able to pay for goods, services and utility bills, as well as receive money from people in the diaspora, access loans…

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Fintech Zeepay enters Zambia with the acquisition of 51% stake in Mangwee Mobile Money

ZAMBIA – Ghanaian Fintech firm Zeepay, a mobile financial services company focused on providing integrated mobile payments services with mobile wallets, has acquired a 51% majority stake in Mangwee Mobile Money, signalling its official entry into the Zambian market. The deal for an undisclosed amount is part of Zeepay’s strategy to expand footprint across Africa. The deal makes Zeepay Ghana the majority shareholder of the entity. Mangwee has been in operation since 2018 and was initially set up to operate as an alternative wallet to reduce the cost of mobile…

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MTN values mobile money unit at US$5bn, mulls IPO

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African multinational mobile telecommunications company MTN group is considering opening up its mobile money arm MoMo to investors. Ralph Mupita, MTN Group’s Chief Executive Officer, announced the move on April 12.2021 in an interview with Bloomberg. The CEO explained that at valuations similar to Airtel’s, MTN’s mobile money arm would be worth about US$5 billion. “With similar valuations to that of Airtel, our valuation would sit at about US$5 billion,” said MTN chief executive officer Ralph Mupita. He stressed, however, that no decision has been made…

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PE firm TPG buys stake in Airtel’s mobile money unit for US$191m

AFRICA – Airtel Africa is set to sell an undisclosed minority stake in its Pan-African mobile money business to private equity firm TPG for US$191 million, underlining the huge value of mobile financial service platforms in Africa. The multinational telco announced the transaction through the London Stock Exchange where it is listed. The record-breaking deal values Airtel Money, available in Share sale to private equity comes amid struggle to cut M-Pesa dominance in the Kenyan market and 14 African countries including Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda, at US$2.65 billion. TPG is investing…

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Somalia issues first mobile money licence to Hormuud Telecom

SOMALIA – The Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) has awarded the first mobile money licence to a telecom company as the Horn of African nation seeks to integrate its payment systems with the global financial ecosystem. The country’s top bank said it issued a mobile money licence to Hormuud Telecom, the country’s largest telecom service provider to operate electronic voucher cards (EVC) Plus. “The Central Bank of Somalia has issued Mobile Money licence to Hormuud Telecom under the provision of mobile money service within the Federal Republic of Somalia,” Abdirahman…

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