MTN MoMo users increase by 21% as group records N437b in fintech revenue

Adeniyi Odukoya

MTN Group has reported a 32.2% increase in data revenue to R73.7 billion (N1.8trn) and a 14.3% increase in Fintech revenue to R17.3 billion (N437b). In the year to 31 December 2022, total subscribers rose 6% to 289 million, with data subscribers growing by more than 12% to 137 million and Mobile Money (MoMo) users up by 21% to 69 million, according to an official statement released yesterday.

The telco giants recorded an expansion in return on equity to 23.4% and a 10% spike in the dividend to 330 cents per share for the 2022 financial year. It reported a 15.3% increase in service revenue to R194 billion (about N4.8 trn ) and maintained a stable margin on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 44% in its official statement.

EBITDA increased by 14.3% to R90 billion and was supported by the company’s expense efficiency programme, which yielded R2.7 billion (about N68b) in savings, mostly in Nigeria and South Africa.

MTN to challenge Ghana's $7MTN to challenge Ghana's $773 million tax bill
MTN Logo. Image Source: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

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MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita said, “The structurally higher demand for data and fintech services was sustained, with data traffic and fintech transaction volumes increasing by around a third each.” 

“To support this, we invested more than R38 billion in our network, IT, and platform infrastructure — an increase of 17%, while at the same time reducing consumers’ average cost to communicate by nearly 23%,” he added

How MTN achieved strong financial results in 2022

The network investment expanded access to broadband services to almost 88% of the population (from 83% in 2021) in our markets as MTN focused on the rural rollout, extending digital inclusion across Africa. Its contribution to society also included income taxes of approximately R14 billion paid to nation states in the year.

Alongside the increase in capital investment, our proactive commercial, expense efficiency, supply chain, network and financial resilience interventions helped alleviate the impact on results of a tough operating environment. This included – across markets – high inflation and interest rates, weak local currencies, pressure on disposable income and, in South Africa, the significant impact of severe load shedding

Across all markets, MTN continued to execute four strategic priorities. To build the largest and most valuable platforms, it expanded its fintech ecosystem and made progress in separating its fintech business from the GSM business, receiving offers for strategic minority investments into the MTN Group fintech structure. The statement declared that MTN anticipates completing the process to review offers and engage investors in May 2023.

To drive industry-leading connectivity operations, the telco giants increased voice, data and fintech revenue, rolled out more than 5 000km of fibre and invested in subsea cables.

“To create shared value, we reduced our scope 1 and 2 emissions in pursuit of net zero by 2040. Diversity and inclusion remained central to our efforts: we achieved 40% women representation, moving closer to our 2030 target of gender parity.”

“We also accelerated portfolio transformation, recording proceeds from asset realisations of R12 billion and signing a share purchase agreement with a subsidiary of M1 Group Limited to acquire all our shares in MTN Afghanistan for a gross consideration of US$35 million.”

Following the release of the 2022 financial report, Dioum Serigne, MTN’s Chief Fintech and Digital Officer expressed his joy over the report as MTN Fintech enjoyed a laudable increase in revenue:

MTN MoMo in Nigeria

MTN MOMO (Mobile Money), the telco’s fintech solution, is a secure electronic service that ensures MTN Mobile Money wallet holders can keep funds, receive and send money, and get paid.

In short, it can be leveraged to process any transaction simply by using your mobile phone. The juice of MTN’s MOMO is its explosive speed, simplicity, convenience, and cost-friendliness. MTN offers the service in collaboration with over ten partner banks across different African countries.

MOMO began operating in 2022. In less than two months after it got approved to operate in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria, it recorded a whopping 4.2 million wallets, of which the company said that 2.4 million are actively in use.

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In October 2022, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) announced its unaudited
results for the nine months ended 30 September 2022:

“Fintech revenue increased by 21.9%, and growth was broad-based across Xtratime (our airtime lending product, up 20.6%) and core fintech services (wallet and agency business, up 232.0%). Our fintech active users rose by 68.7% YoY to 11.2 million, of which 1.8 million represent active MoMo wallets (down 29.4% in Q3).

However, registered MoMo wallets increased by more than two times to 9.9 million in Q3, demonstrating the underlying momentum in the ecosystem.”

In addition, we expanded our mobile money (MoMo) agent network by adding over 21k active agents in Q3, bringing the total number to approximately 188k. The agent network continued to play a pivotal role in our MoMo ecosystem and helped to drive growth in the total volume of transactions by 112.2% YoY.

Overall, MoMo PSB continues to make steady progress in its operations. Our current focus is to grow the user base and scale basic services, targeting the sizable unbanked segment in the country. Over time, we will leverage our market-leading distribution to evolve the mix towards more advanced services across our fintech verticals, in line with our Ambition 2025 strategy.”

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This is surely good news for MTN. Though still far from the target, one can only imagine how huge MTN’s revenue will be when it meets the necessary goals.

For instance, MTN Fintech’s goal is to get MOMO monthly users up to 100 by 2025; agents should be at 2000 by 2025; and merchants should be at 3000 by 2025.

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