The newly created arm of MTN Rwanda, MOMO Rwanda LTD says it’s focus is to use customer data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and regulated technology to produce products at a lower cost which translates to offering affordable services.
MoMo CEO, Chantal Kagame, while speaking on a panel at the Commonwealth Business Forum, said that the motive behind this thinking is driven by the quest to financial inclusion.
“We have been supported by the regulators on our quest to financial inclusion. Of course there are some aspects that can be reviewed that impact the cost of our products and services but we know that too will be looked into for the benefit of our customers,” she said.
Kagame, however, said that there is a hindrance to achieving this task. “As we talk about innovative solutions, we need to also think about smart penetration and have the discussion to push it to the next level. Our role as a fintech is to start and accelerate the drive for smart penetration and the use of artificial intelligence.”
Echoing Kagame’s view, MTN Group President and CEO, Ralph Mupita, who spoke about Bridging the Digital Divide as part of the solution to affordable products for economic transformation, said that one way to achieve the ambition is to create accessibility to affordable handsets and internet.
“We need to double down on getting affordable handsets. The key area around affordability is having a commitment with the right regulatory framework. We also need to create systems that accommodate local speakers and try and tailor it for local languages ans literacy,” Mupita said.
He however raised a concern that the current pace cannot deliver tangible results. “If we go at the pace that we are going, it might take us a whole generation to close the digital divide and with the results of COVID19, we need to be more innovative,” he noted.In his view, Network operators such us MTN have done a lot to be able to roll out innovative solutions, but it is going to require a broader approach and a very diffferent way of thinking.
“We can’t leave the unconnected behind, we have to take the current generation with us,” he said, adding that, “From a private sector point of view, we need to commit to the policy makers and governments that the capital is here and available to connect the unconnected.”
"We would just ask for a regulatory regime that provides certainty for long term capital to invest and we would then commit to bringing down the costs of internet access and you would be surprised at how quickly we move to be able to close the gap" @RalphMupita
— MTN Rwanda (@MTNRwanda) June 22, 2022