MTN mobile money pay records Shs8b in daily transactions 

More Ugandans are now using mobile money to pay for goods and services. Photo / Michael Kakumirizi 

What you need to know:

  • Mobile money pay has been an important aspect in the exchange of goods and services in Uganda

MTN has indicated that an average of Shs8b is paid daily in exchange of goods and services through its mobile money pay platform. 

The payments, details indicate, have doubled in the 12 months to October 2023 and are projected to more than triple in the same period next year. 

While responding to inquiries about mobile money pay performance, Mr Richard Yego, the MTN Mobile Money managing director, said the value of payments have doubled compared to the same period last year. 

“Mobile money pay daily transaction value has doubled in the last 12 months (October 2022 to October 2023) from Shs4b to Shs8b,” he said without giving more details, but , indicated that over the period, MTN mobile money pay merchant codes had increased by 15,000 codes to 290,000, which signals rapid uptake of digital payments. Mobile money pay was launched in May 2019.  

The daily payments, data indicates, translates to an annual average of Shs2.8 trillion.  

We could not readily obtain payments through Airtel mobile money pay. 

“Unless the dataset is published by [Bank of Uganda] already, I can’t be able to share it,” Mr David Birungi, the Airtel public relations manager, said yesterday. 

Mr Yego indicated that 80 percent of mobile money pay transactions were less than Shs60,000, which is the tier with the highest number of transactions, while 15 percent were between Shs60,000 and Shs250,000. 5 percent were between Shs250,000 and Shs5m during the period under review.  

Mobile money has become key in the attainment of a cashless economy, with Bank of Uganda counting on increase in technology-based platforms to  change the payment system.  

Data from Bank of Uganda indicates that during the period ended December 2022, mobile money pay registered one of the largest value in terms of payment of goods and services.  

During the period, 10.8 million payments were made through MTN mobile money pay alone, returning a value of a value of Shs1.2 trillion.

This could have been higher with the addition of Airtel money pay. 

The value from MTN alone was relative to debit cards and larger than other platforms, among them credit cards and points of sale. 

During the period, Bank of Uganda indicated that debit cards recorded the largest value in terms of digital payments outside mobile money, ahead of points of sale and credits cards. 

At least 3.1 million active debit cards registered a volume of 6.9 million payments worth Shs1.33 trillion, while points of sale recorded 4.7 million payments, which returned a value of Shs855.5b. 

Credit cards, which total to 99,400, recorded a transaction volume of 320.9 payments and a value of Shs81.9b. No new data has been released to show the performance of debit and credit cards and points of sale.   

Data also indicates that MTN mobile money pay has been growing rapidly, expanding by 120 percent between May 2022 and May 2023 in terms of volume, while value grew by 72 percent in the period.