MTN Uganda improves last mile infrastructure and distribution network for digital financial services

MTN store in Uganda

Photo by Reuters

MTN Uganda improves last mile infrastructure and distribution network for digital financial services

MTN Group Limited, incorporated in 1994, together with its subsidiaries, operates in the mobile telecommunications industry. The company provides data, voice and SMS, digital and fintech, wholesale, and interconnect and roaming services, as well as sells mobile devices.

MTN is one of Uganda's largest telecommunications network providers offering cell phone deals, internet, voice and data bundles, mobile money services, Momo Pay and other services. MTN Uganda is the largest telecom company in the country, with 11.2 million subscribers, accounting for 55 percent market share, as of 30 June 2017. By 31 December 2019, its customer base increased to 12.6 million customers.

MTN has been deploying a customised value proposition for the digital and financial inclusion of last mile customers with a focus on farmers and refugees. This will be achieved through setting up community-based solutions to enhance and expand last-mile distribution network for digital services and products, as well as customising products and services to suit the target customer segments.

Penetration of Digital Financial Services (DFS) into rural Uganda remains a challenge. This is caused by issues to do with digital and financial infrastructure, distribution reach, access to phones and the lack of relevant product offerings to the target segments. MTN Uganda is seeking an investment of approximately 700,000 USD to tackle these issues and thereby increase the access and usage of DFS in rural Uganda, with a focus on the north and west Nile regions.

Overall, the investment allows for improved rural digital infrastructure and value-added services for the last mile. This enables access to telecommunication devices for ease of doing busines, enhanced usage of digital payments, access to improved digital and cashless payment, as well as access to improved value-added services.

This case study is sourced though a partnership with the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and has gone through due diligence and analysis that undertakes an impact and financial assessment of the investment. MTN underwent a competitive process through the Request for Application (RfA) on digital inclusion related services and products that foster an Open Payment Ecosystem.

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