Few weeks ago, MTN Group introduced mobile money life insurance service when it announced about the start of mi-life, making it easier when you’re buying life insurance for the elderly. That made it the first telco to to go into that sector in Africa and establishing its reputation as the main big innovator.
It began in Ghana and was billed to expand into other African nations. In 2010, the West and Central Africa business units have contributed about 71% of the group profit, bringing N269 billion (12 billion South African rand). The West and Central African operations are mainly Nigeria and Ghana.
In a statement, Bruno Akpaka, MTN Ghana GM of Mobile Money stated then:
“mi-Life provides MTN Mobile Money customers the opportunity to buy affordable life insurance with the convenience of being able to manage that insurance via their handsets. Customers will be able to submit claims, queries and make their premium payments using their handset”
mi-Life is structured to meet the growing demand for insurance services across developing markets. “Buying insurance through your phone is yet another example of the possibilities one has with MTN Mobile Money. Through our extensive distribution network, we are able to reach many customers with this important product,” says Pieter Verkade, the Group’s Mobile Money Executive, said at the time.
MTN and Hollard Insurance – South Africa’s largest independent and privately owned insurance group – have partnered in this product while Golden Life Assurance Company, a local Ghana firm underwrote it.
As mPayment takes off in full in Nigeria, we want to know when this will come to Nigeria and for those that have it in Ghana, how this has helped their lives. Innovation will become to be the key factor for the survival of the telecommunication operators because the era of airtime business is coming to an end. Value added services must top their operating profit margins in coming years if they hope to be successful. That means courting third party developers, service providers, among others.