MTN Launches Electronic Bank Transfers Through WhatsApp

Having launched a “world-first” to buy airtime through WhatsApp in 2019, Africa’s largest cellular operator, MTN, has launched a way to make instant bank transfers through the Facebook-owned app.

Calling this development an “industry-first” in South Africa, MTN has partnered with instant electronic funds transfer (EFT) provider, Ozow. This payment method can be used to buy data and airtime directly through WhatsApp.  

“Giving customers the ability to transact seamlessly on WhatsApp is a gamechanger in South Africa. It provides a seamless way to stay connected, in touch and in tune, while being simple and secure. Most importantly it will help improve financial and digital inclusion and enhance access for consumers,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, corporate affairs executive at MTN South Africa. 

“Our aim is to ensure South Africans do not miss out on major advances in technology and have the latest cutting-edge solutions at their fingertips so they can enjoy the full benefits of the digital life,” she adds,

This new additional is part of the service launched in 2019, called MTN Chat.

“We are excited about partnering with MTN to make it even easier for customers to be able to safely purchase airtime and data directly from the WhatsApp chat on the spot, anywhere and at any time,” says Thomas Pays, co-founder and CEO of Ozow. 

MTN is following the relatively new ability to make payments through WhatsApp, which was tested in India in 2018 and launched in Brazil in June 2020.  

“Consumers want to pay their preferred way, and less friction means less frustration; our customers and their own customers are enjoying the security and convenience that chat commerce provides. Extending the self-service and payment offerings – as it has done now with Ozow – makes great sense for MTN and will no doubt be welcomed by its customers,” comments Jeppe Dorff, chief product and Technology Officer of Clickatell, MTN’s chat commerce partner.

First published on: Forbes