MTN aims to relaunch its financial services in South Africa after abandoning this business in September 2016 because of the “lack of commercial viability”. MTN CEO Rob Shuter announced that the operator is developing new products such as loan offers, investments products and insurance in order to cater to its clients’ needs and expand its customers’ base in South Africa.

The operator faced difficulties as well in Iran in relation to its mobile money business due to similar reasons. However, the operator had 22 million mobile money customers in 14 markets at the end of 2017, that is why, Shuter hopes to expand this presence and develop new services and products.

At the end of 2017, MTN’s subscriber base accounted for 217 million, a significant drop from 240 million at the end of 2016. The group lost 13.2 million subscribers in the fourth quarter due to “reclassification of subscribers” in several markets such as Cameroon and Uganda, which respectively disconnected 3 million and 750,000 users due to new regulations.

MTN is now reviewing this issue to make sure that its units in conflict markets are strategically and operationally appropriate and take into account demographics, regional synergies and business and regulatory environments.

While focusing on its mobile money markets in Africa, the group disclosed as well that it will launch its financial platform in two additional markets in the Middle East this year.