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MTN’s self service kiosks not a threat to banks – Analysts

Mobile-Money transaction

MTN’s new self service kiosks will least threaten other similar services provided by commercial banks.

As a result, the development should not result in any apprehension among the banking industry.

That is the position of Financial Analyst, Sam Bediako Asante.

The telecom giant’s new service is to deepen its mobile money business and drive competition.

The introduction of the self service kiosks comes months after MTN downplayed any plans of becoming a fully fledged bank.

Though this may not necessarily mean the company is operating as a bank, the ATM withdrawal services have led to some concerns among industry watchers of taking over the traditional banking role.

But Financial Analyst, Sam Bediako Asante tells Citi Business News such concerns may not be wholly tenable.

“Unless the law is changed for these mobile money operators to have their own accounts from the traditional banks, there will be no competition to the banking industry. It will mean that there will be collaboration among the banks and the telcos because whatever the monies made will be channeled into the bank accounts,” he argued.

Obviously, the new service is to give customers access to mobile money services with more convenience and perhaps at a lower cost.

Currently, majority of mobile money transactions are carried out at designated vending points.

The number of such agents for all industry is estimated at 151,745.

But as Fintech Innovation Specialist, Amishadai Ofori puts it, there is no cause for alarm as such agents will still be relevant within the industry.

“If well positioned in high end environments where people are already used to self servicing then I think it is a splendid idea…However when the new machines are positioned at areas where people have little use for it, then the impact on vendors and merchants will be assessed subsequently,” Amishadai suggested.

Yet, a Telecoms Analyst, Fouad Chaalabi maintains that MTN’s new system may least affect competition and an eventual drop in the patronage of mobile money transfer services provided by the other players in the telecom industry.

In his words, such innovations are inevitable in the growth of most industries.

“As far as there is other innovation from other companies, this can also stand any competition specifically because this is for the company’s mobile money services, then it may drive competition among the other companies that offer mobile money transfer.”

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/

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