About seven years later after the introduction of MoMo in 2011 by Swazi MTN, the service has grown exponentially to hit E100 million in circulation on a monthly basis.
However, during the early stages of its introduction, only a few people believed in its growth prospects. MTN Eswatini’s Chief Consumer Officer Sam Shongwe, who was leading the pack during the introduction of MoMo, shares his experience which is characterised by mixed emotions in the following question and answer session.
Q: When was MoMo launched?
A: The service was launched on May 2, 2011.
Q: How many distributors were there when the service was launched?
A: Initially, when we started the only distributors available to us were traditional distributors, who had been distributing airtime all along. We , therefore, had to create a new channel and started recruiting MoMo agents across the country. We currently have over 3400 agents within the channel inclusive of the airtime distributors and vendors.
Q: What was the vision for MoMo?
A: The vision for MoMo was, and continues to be a key payment solution in the Kingdom of Eswatini. It is one key tool that has contributed immensely towards Financial Inclusion in the country. According to the FinScope Report 2015, MoMo contributed 21% towards Financial Inclusion since its launch in 2011. It is estimated that this figure has grown significantly over the past three years with the growth of Mobile Money.
Q: Did you actually believe that this was a viable product?
A: Most definitely. However, it was very difficult, and uptake was slow especially during the first few years after the launch of the service to convince our customers as well as key stakeholders like airtime distributors. I knew that MoMo would succeed and be
In the not so far future, all subscribers will be active on MoMo as we integrate with other financial service providers such as commercial banks and microfinance institutions.