Telecoms firm, MTN Group and payments technology firm, Flutterwave,  have sealed a mobile money deal that will enable them to bite a huge chunk from Africa’s digital payments and e-commerce sector expected to hit $29 billion next year, according to Statista.

The partnership will enable Flutterwave in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia to receive payments via MTN Mobile Money (MoMo).

MTN Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer, Serigne Dioum, said the partnership aligned with the telco’s aspiration to become the largest Fintech on the continent.

Dioum said: “As we progress on our journey to becoming the largest fintech platform in Africa, we will empower millions of businesses to embrace e-commerce in our markets to accept digital payments from MoMo consumers. We believe this is an enabler to accelerating digitized payments in Africa. Building strong ecosystems through partnerships is central to our platform strategy and we will continue to invest in expanding the reach of our platform to consumers and businesses in Africa.”

Also speaking, Founder/CEO of Flutterwave,  Olugbenga Agboola, said the continent has the largest growth rates in mobile money and e-commerce adoption.

He said: “Africa has one of the highest growth rates for mobile money adoption and e-commerce in the world. It makes sense that we help provide a seamless payment method to support and ensure African businesses reap the full benefits of the e-commerce boom in the region. Our goal has always been to grow a new wave of prosperity in Africa by creating more avenues for businesses in Africa to accept payments. With this partnership, we can achieve this while creating endless possibilities for our customers.”

MTN MoMo is a fintech platform providing consumers and businesses with an electronic wallet, enabling electronic transfers and payments as well as access to digital and financial services. At the end of June 2021, MTN MoMo had 48.9 million active users and 581,514 merchants. MoMo enables businesses to accept and make payments within the mobile money ecosystem. This new partnership will enable Flutterwave to offer MTN Mobile Money as a payment method to its business customers.

Africa has witnessed an explosion in mobile penetration as smartphone adoption has risen rapidly. According to the GSMA, this year Africa will hit the half a billion mark of unique mobile subscribers and the continent will reach 50per cent subscriber penetration by 2025. Sub-Saharan Africa alone is responsible for more than 45per cent of the world’s mobile money accounts with the number of account holders exceeding half a billion by 2020, as shared on Statista.

Through this partnership, MTN and Flutterwave will positively contribute to this trend by increasing mobile money usage and penetration in Africa to improve local economies and livelihoods as well as create opportunities for individuals and businesses across the continent.