MTN takes on banks with free money transfer service

MTN and retailer Pick n Pay on Wednesday officially announced a new partnership to bring low-cost banking to South African consumers currently excluded from the formal banking system.

MTN previously announced on Monday (23 June) that it launched a Mobile Money Visa card for its customers in South Africa.

By signing up to a new Pick n Pay SIM card, powered by MTN, and registering for Mobile Money customers will be able to access their accounts easily, conveniently, securely and cheaply from their mobile phones.

The new SIM card will also reward customers with an additional 10% airtime when they top-up  at Pick n Pay and Boxer stores, MTN said.

Consumers can take up the free money transfer service by opening a Mobile Money account on the new SIM at no cost.  The account attracts no monthly or annual account fees.

Zunaid Bulbulia

In November 2012, MTN and Pick n Pay launched Mobile Money in partnership with The South African Bank of Athens – for customers to transfer money securely, and to buy goods in Pick n Pay and Boxer stores without needing cash or a debit card.

Since 2012, almost 2 million customers have used Mobile Money, MTN said.

With the introduction of free money transfers (free deposits and withdrawals in store), and the launch of the Visa Mobile Money Debit Card, customers can use their accounts to pay municipal bills, purchase prepaid electricity and airtime.

Salaries can be deposited into the account, and there is no minimum balance requirement, MTN said.

Richard van Rensberg, deputy CEO of Pick n Pay, said: “We believe the Mobile Money account will be a game-changer in bringing the benefits of secure, convenient and affordable banking to millions of people who are currently excluded from the formal financial system and who face prohibitively high transaction costs.”

MTN CEO Zunaid Bubulia said: “The Mobile Money innovations, including the first free money transfer service, is part of our continued commitment to revolutionise banking and drive economic inclusion, and we look forward to its take up by South Africans.”

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MTN takes on banks with free money transfer service