- Mastercard set to acquire a minority stake in MTN Group’s fintech division, valuing it at $5.2 billion.
- MTN’s mobile money transactions surged by 37% in the first half of 2023, recording $8.3 billion with over 60 million active users.
- This move comes after Mastercard’s 2021 deal with Airtel Africa, hinting at increasing fintech ambitions among telecom giants in Africa.
Mastercard, the global payment giant, has taken significant strides in the African fintech landscape with its upcoming minority stake purchase in the fintech segment of MTN Group, Africa’s premier telecom provider. The deal, touted to solidify their commercial partnership in payments and remittances, is set against a backdrop of MTN’s recent robust performance despite challenging macroeconomic factors. This collaboration will leverage Mastercard’s technical prowess to spur development across Africa, aiming for a brighter financial landscape.
Ralph Mupita, MTN Group’s top executive, highlighted their robust H1 23 performance and strategic advancements, specifically emphasizing the stronger Q2 over Q1 due to their power-resilience investments in South Africa. MTN Nigeria also marked significant operational achievements despite Q1’s cash crunch and the subsequent inflation.
This partnership’s inception traces back to MTN’s strategic move a year prior when they sought investors for their fintech arm, having delineated it from their core telecom operations. Their vision was further emboldened post the acquisition of a banking license in Nigeria. MTN’s financial milestones are noteworthy; their mobile money platform saw a 37% boost in transactions, amassing $8.3 billion, courtesy of their 60 million+ active user base.
Mastercard’s previous ventures in the region, specifically their $100 million deal with Airtel Africa in 2021, signal the growing fintech ambitions of telecommunication leaders in Africa. These conglomerates, including Safaricom and Vodacom, are pivoting from conventional telecom offerings to the booming digital service segment. As Africa navigates this digital transformation, telecom behemoths are poised to rival prominent fintech players like Interswitch and Flutterwave, heralding an era of intensified competition and innovation.