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How is MTN’s move into financial services industry gathering strength

While MTN hasn’t fully provided the market and its customers with its complete financial services strategy, a move by Africa’s largest mobile phone operator to partner with MMI Holdings indicates that efforts to accelerate diversification into the financial services industry are gathering speed. By Gugu Lourie

MTN is targeting more than 200 million of its customers through a micro-insurance solutions powered by its vast network and the expertise of MMI Holdings, a South African-based insurance financial services player.

Buying Barclays Africa assets may still be on MTN’s radar screens

That said we must add that a possibility of MTN seeking to buy assets of Barclays Africa may still be on the table.

For more read: Know your business rivals: Why MTN is recruiting bankers as executives

But for now while the telco is waiting for the new CEO Rob Shuter to take over, is forging ahead with its undisclosed financial services strategy.

Africa provides vast potential for micro-insurance

The deal with MMI is pointing to a true fintech strategy.

The market for micro-insurance such as hospital and life cover is big in Africa and offers a huge potential for a mobile phone operator that have access to customers.

Micro-insurance can play a vital role to mitigate risks faced by low income consumers.

Here comes aYo micro insurance

For most of Africa’s low income households, where MTN operates, most of the individuals have to spend private money out-of-pocket to settle huge medical bills that exceed their means, crippling many families.

MTN’s partnership with MMI to provide aYo micro insurance for its customers across Africa is one way for MTN to help its struggling subscribers to reduce medical bills.

The aYo micro-insurance solution will enable MTN subscribers to pay for medical protection in a hospital that they couldn’t afford before.

This partnership between MTN and MMI to offer micro-insurance solutions will help those excluded by the free market, which failed to offer universal access to affordable healthcare.

The aYo Recharge with Care provides pre-paid MTN customers with free life (MyLife) or hospital (MyHospital) cover every time they load MTN airtime. What a best way to cover Africans neglected by the private sector plans and national health insurance programmes that are focusing on the top-end of the market.

For a second, just imagine all MTN customers across the African market being covered by its aYo micro insurance in partnership with MMI.

That will prompt MTN customers to recharge more and thereafter they will get access to life and hospital plans. That will really empower most MTN customers, and in return create value for MTN and MMI and grow our economy.

Furthermore, Imran Mahomed – the CEO of aYo Holdings – is likely to enjoy himself in helping Africans to recharge their MTN numbers with airtime vouchers and in return cover them with hospital programmes and life insurance.

Hopefully, MTN and MMI will honour their contracts.

That said, MTN is slowly moving into conquering financial services sector and their success lies in paying off lump sums for life and hospital cover for its customers.a

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