MTN’s Investment in Fintech and Data Paying Off

MTN Group, Africa’s largest telco by subscriber base, recorded strong growth in its fintech and data segments in its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2023. The two recorded a 14% and 21% growth in revenue, accounting for more than 50% of the telco’s entire service revenue.

Across the company’s 19 markets, active MoMo users increased by 5.0% to 72.5 million while agents and merchants grew by 5.4% and 42.5% to 1.3 million and 2.1 million respectively. MoMo transaction volumes increased by 32% to 17.6 billion transactions and transaction value by 47.4% to $272.1 billion. On data, subscribers grew by 9% to 150 million while traffic increased by 26%. On average, each MTN user consumes 8.60GB of data per month.

MTN Nigeria saw a 3.7% and 38.6% increase in fintech and data revenues while MTN South Africa recorded a 14.7% and 7.4% increase respectively. The two countries are MTN’s largest markets on the continent.

Since its pivot into a “technology company” in 2022, MTN has invested in the growth of its data and fintech units. In February, the telco announced that Mastercard had bought a 3.8% stake in its mobile money (MoMo) segment for $200 million at a $5.2 billion valuation. MTN’s data revenue, driven by investment into network capacity and quality, is now at $4.3 billion, exceeding the company’s voice revenue, which was recorded at $4.2 billion.

“We continued to invest in our business and execute our ‘Ambition 2025’ strategy given the [high demand] for data and fintech services evident across our markets,” Ralph Mupita, MTN Group CEO, told shareholders.

According to the company, it will continue investments in the two segments in its pursuit to become the “largest and most valuable fintech platform” on the continent. On the growth of its data segment, MTN stated that it anticipates increases in tariffs across its markets as it tries to keep up with the network-related expenses that will come with its growth.

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