MTN Uganda announced yesterday that it was extending its mobile money platform to online merchants enabling online visitors to directly pay for goods and services using their mobile money accounts.
The integration is quite simple. All you have to do is simply log on to any website supported by the network, select MTN Mobile Money as the payment option. You will then be required to enter your Mobile Money number at which you’ll receive a notification on your phone prompting you to confirm payment by punching in your Mobile Money PIN. On successful completion of the transaction, an SMS notification with a transaction ID will be sent to the your phone.After that, you will then get a call from the merchant on how and where to deliver the items purchased. Done.
MTN Acting Chief Marketing Officer, Kenneth Kiddu noted that the online shopping service is a step in the reinforcement of MTN’s vision of delivering a bold new digital world, away from the traditional online shopping systems that require customers to have credit cards and bank accounts.
The network is currently supporting over two websites including shop 24/7, New Vision publication, Living goods,
Transactel East Africa, Send Airtime Inc, Home Duuka among others.
What’s notable about this development is that MTN has side-stepped an entire ecosystem of third-party online payment aggregators that would otherwise be doing what the network has decided to do! As such, the online ecosystem in Uganda will continue to suffer as the big guns “want it all” for themselves and don’t really care what value developers for instance would bring to the table. In other words, this is great for users, but it’s not a smart move for the ecosystem.