MTN Zambia says it plans to roll out a platform, developed by Ericsson that will integrate MTN Mobile Money with all banks by September. Amos Jere, the operator’s chief sales and distribution officer, said MTN will also actively work with the Bank of Zambia to educate consumers about the need to use mobile financial services. Jere said MTN aims to work with 120,000 farmers in the next agricultural season through its mobile money platform. Up the present time, 4,000 farmers in Zambia’s Eastern Province have successfully been paid for their cotton through the platform.
As we have been chronicling in these pages, mobile money has done particularly well in Africa by enabling farmers and other workers who live in remote areas and do not have bank accounts to pay each other for goods and services using the balances in their mobile phone accounts. But as the economies of countries like Zambia expand, such users will not likely remain “unbanked” forever. By linking its Mobile Money service to the country’s banking infrastructure, MTN is laying the groundwork for it to thrive and grow in a more developed economy—and to help that economy develop.