MTN Uganda introduces overdraft facility as it ups competition in digital lending space

UGANDAMTN Mobile Money in partnership with NCBA Bank, has launched a new MTN MoMo overdraft service dubbed MoMoAdvance that will enable MTN MoMo customers to access advance Mobile Money funds that they can use to complete their MoMo transactions and payback later.

Available to all MTN MoMo customers, MTN MoMoAdvance is an extension of the MTN MoMo customers’ transacting capability, enabling them to continue transacting even when they have run out of MoMo within an approved credit limit.

This development by MTN MoMo follows a successful pilot scheme with about 135,000 subscribers since December 2020.

This service is now available to MTN customers that have been on Mobile Money for a minimum period of 6 months, have passed credit scoring based on their usage of Mobile Money and other MTN services.

MoMoAdvance is also available to MoMo Agents, Merchants, SMEs and corporate users of MTN MoMo among others.

MoMo customers can use their MoMoAdvance to send Mobile Money, pay for goods and services through MoMoPay, Airtime and bundle purchases, pay bills such as water, electricity, TV subscription among others.

Launching the service, Stephen Mutana, the General Manager MTN Mobile Financial Services said that MTN MoMoAdvance will offer the MTN MoMo customers the convenience of transacting beyond their MoMo wallet balance and payback later.

MTN MoMoAdvance is a product that we have been working on for some time with our partners from NCBA Bank. We are happy to finally roll it out to all our customers and we Sensitivity: MTN Group – Internal believe that it will give them the convenience to transact seamlessly beyond their wallet balances during times of need then pay back later,” Mutana said.

Mutana said MoMoAdvance will solve the issue of insufficient MoMo funds that customers face in moments of emergency while transacting with MoMo.

“I encourage all customers to continue actively using MTN services such as MTN MoMo, Data, Voice which improves their credit score over time,” Mutana said.

To distinguish MoMoAdvance from MTN’s loan facility, MoKash, Mutana noted that, unlike the MoKash loan facility where MTN customers can borrow money within their credit limits and pay back in 30 days as they wish, MoMoAdvance on the other hand is an overdraft facility that allows customers use more money than they actually have on their accounts, and the overdraft amount is automatically deducted the next time a customer gets funds on their MoMo account.

East Africa accounts for the bulk of Africa’s mobile money transactions, followed by West Africa.

According to GSMA, an umbrella body representing the interests of players in the telecommunications industry, Africa’s mobile-money sector remains the most active of any region in the world, according to GSM Association (GSMA),

The report shows that registered mobile money accounts in Africa stood at slightly over half a billion in 2020, a 12 percentage point growth from the previous year. The value of transactions hit US$495 billion, up 23 percentage points.

The report further shows that the value of transactions in West Africa had the highest growth after increasing by 46 percentage points to US$178 billion (the second-highest value after East Africa’s).

The mobile-money overdraft products are providing a competitive edge to telcos as lending apps continue to enter African markets.

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