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Customer centricity giving MTN Mobile Money Uganda an edge in the market

MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited Managing Director Stephen Mutana (PHOTO /Courtesy).

Having a customer in mind throughout the product development process explains why MoMoPay, a product of MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited that allows businesses to receive digital payments is steadily gaining prominence across the market. This is according to the MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited Managing Director Stephen Mutana.

“For people to get the full benefits of the cashless economy, they should be able to transact digitally anywhere; let it be at a local hardware, a shop or salon. But for them to pay cashless, the service has to be relevant to their life,” Stephen Mutana says.

He adds: “So we are the ones who should align ourselves to the needs of the customer and as our agenda, we are deeply embedded in the activities of making it easy, within the confines of the regulations for people to onboard onto these digital services like MoMoPay.”

According to Mutana, the company applies a tiered Know-Your-Customer system which makes it easy for businesses to use the MoMoPay platform. Someone doing MoMoPay for their small business for instance only needs to have a fully registered SIM card while a big organization needs to provide a few more documents.

Even then, Mutana notes, they have made the process as seamless as possible, by availing digital on-boarding kits that pick up all the required information easily.

MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited was split from MTN Uganda Limited, following the enactment of the National Payments Systems (NPS) Act last year, which required telecommunications companies to separate their mobile money services from voice and data services and run them independently. Nonetheless, MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited is fully owned by MTN Uganda Limited.

Extra income

Apart from receiving payments, MoMoPay also creates extra businesses for small business owners to earn an income, according to Mutana.

For instance, a merchant that uses the MoMoPay platform can also sell airtime and earn commission and can facilitate school fees, pay TV and other utility bills payments, among others.

“MoMoPay is a full end-to-end proposition that not only allows you to receive digital payments and makes your business more efficient but also brings new lines of business into your business,” Mutana says.

He adds: “Wherever you see a MoMoPay merchant, however informal they are, it is a business in a box; it is allows them receive digital payments but also allows them to receive other lines of business.”

The firm also runs the MoKash product, offering unsecured micro-loans and savings products, in partnership with NCBA bank. It uses one’s information about usage patterns of MTN services to assess one’s creditworthiness.

Additionally, Mutana says the company is in the process of launching more products that specifically target businesses. Among them is the MoMo Business, which builds on MoMoPay but gives businesses more capabilities around invoicing, payments and collection.

Use open APIs

To achieve full financial inclusion, Mutana says there is need for financial literacy, translating material in local languages and enhancing safety to engender and build people’s trust in using digital payment platforms.

Additionally, there is need to make it easy and faster for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to onboard on open APIs.

“We have open-APIs where we have standardized some of the key functions of mobile money like payments, collections, remittances, and bulk payments. The worst thing is to have a great idea and you get stuck at how you should digitize it. We have done a lot in that area, though there is still a more to be done to get the developer community conversant with the standard APIs,” Mutana says.

The company is among the firms participating in the second edition of the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox and Mojaloop Foundation, and sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

The HiPipo Chief Executive Officer Innocent Kawooya says this edition is Uganda’s most comprehensive foray into things like distributed ledger technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Automated Customer Relationship Management, cash management and lending platforms, among others.

He applauds MTN Uganda for spearheading the digital economy revolution from game changing products such as Mobile Money, MoMoPay and MoKash.

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