Two years after investing $100 million in Airtel’s mobile money business, Mastercard Inc. has agreed to buy a small portion of the fintech business of MTN Group Ltd., another telecom company in Africa.
Payment processor Mastercard Inc. has agreed to buy a minority stake in the fintech business of MTN Group Ltd., a major telecom company in Africa. MTN’s CEO, Ralph Mupita, says that they’re finalising the investment arrangements, as reported by Bloomberg. The cornerstone of MTN’s fintech endeavours is its mobile money product, MoMo, which has been valued at $5.2 billion, nearly 40% of MTN’s total market capitalisation.
This follows Mastercard’s $100 million investment in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV, the holding company for Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations. With the investment, Mastercard bought a minority stake in the fintech arm of the telecom, just like it is set to do in MTN.
Mastercard has previously connected its virtual payment service to MTN wallets, enabling MTN customers to make international payments online without needing a bank account. This puts MTN in competition with established fintech companies such as Flutterwave, and other major telecom contenders like Airtel Africa Plc, Safaricom Plc, and Vodacom Group Ltd. have also ventured into the fintech sector.
MTN had previously shared plans to raise around $1.3 billion by selling assets. These plans include recent actions like selling and leasing back assets in West Africa and South Africa. This involves things like mobile-phone towers and their share in IHS Holding Ltd., a tower company listed in New York. However, the sale of this share has been postponed due to a disagreement with the management of IHS Holding.