In the final days of August 2019, MTN Nigeria launched MoMo Agent; the much-anticipated mobile money service that was spun off its Y’ello Digital Financial Services (YDFS) subsidiary.
This was to be MTN’s long-awaited foray into the Nigerian fintech segment. Finally, MTN was going to leverage on its expansive network across Nigeria.
Through its mobile money agents (MoMo Agents), the telco sought to immediately begin providing safe and accessible money transfer services to underbanked and unbanked people across Nigeria. Besides funds transfer, the services of the MoMo Agent is to also include data purchase, airtime, and payment of bills.
The service has been touted as a gamechanger, something for the hardest-to-reach places in Nigeria, something that would complement existing banking services in Nigeria and promote financial inclusion.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman said: “The launch of the YDFS MoMo Agent is especially significant to us. It further demonstrates our commitment to remain focused on enhancing Nigerian’s access to financial services, and in so doing, connect them to what is most important to them.”
MTN’s YDFS plans to roll out about 500,000 MoMo Agents across all of Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. But over a month after its launch, there are hardly any indications that much is actually happening on that front.
It would be recalled that in July this year, MTN Nigeria was awarded a licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that would allow the telco to provide financial services. That set the tone for the launching of MoMo Agent in August.
A month has passed since then and there are still no indications that people have been able to use the MoMo Agent service anywhere in Nigeria.
Of course, these are still early days and MTN Nigeria is, in fact, still awaiting the Payment Service Bank (PSB) license from the CBN.
The problem is that MTN Nigeria has officially launched the MoMo Agent service and introduced a USSD code with which one can find a nearby agent, but the service is not working as well as one would expect at the moment.
As a matter of fact, MoMo Agent is anything but fully operational at the moment, which is a far cry from what was implied at the official launch that happened on August 29 at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
By dialling the *223# USSD code, one is supposed to be able to find a MoMo Agent close to them after inputting their location. But at present, only a few areas in Lagos have agent locations listed. That’s the case for Lagos where the service is naturally expected to catch on before anywhere else in Nigeria.
Efforts to get MTN Nigeria to comment on the current state of affairs with its MoMo Agent service have proved abortive.
At the moment, though, it looks like it might be a while before MTN’s “Everywhere You Go” slogan can be applied to its newly-launched mobile money service. At least, that’s what the current pace suggests.
Featured Image Courtesy: TechHawk