Mobile Money, a mobile banking initiative by mobile operator MTN that uses Pick n Pay and Boxer stores as branches, has reached a million customers and processed more than R1 billion in its first nine months, MTN says.
Launched in November last year, Mobile Money is effectively a bank account that can use electronic funds transfers (EFTs) from the traditional banking system. Customers can sign up for the service using their phones, and there are no monthly fees and no minimum balances. Money can be sent to anyone with a South African mobile phone number.
Mobile Money is powered by MTN but its required banking partner is the South African Bank of Athens, through its distribution partner TYME, which runs the service. Pick n Pay and Boxer provide the stores for customers to deposit and withdraw cash. The only sign-up requirements are a South African identity number and to be older than 16.
Mobile Money is able to sign up new users and avoid the Financial Intelligence Centre Act requirements of proof of identity and physical address because of a banking provision that exempts accounts with less than R25,000 deposited and a R1,000 daily transaction limit.