Africa’s largest telco, MTN Group is partnering with insurtech firm, Sanlam to build a digital insurance and investment business for its users across the continent.
The exclusive strategic alliance (the Alliance) will distribute Sanlam Group insurance and investment products as part of MTN’s fintech offering across Africa.
“It will provide people across the continent with easier access to these services, particularly those sectors of the population that have typically been unable to access traditional distribution channels for such products,” MTN explained in a blog post.
However, the deal is dependent on both parties concluding definitive agreements and completing the relevant suspensive conditions.
Speaking on the partnership, MTN Group President and CEO Mr Ralph Mupita expressed that the collaboration offers MTN the opportunity to enhance its existing offering and provide more value-added services to its customers.
“Sanlam is the ideal partner as the leading insurance and investment business across Africa, and with partnership key to its strategic and execution approach. MTN has built a scale fintech business with over 100 million wallets, of which approximately half are actively using Mobile Money services every month, presenting a meaningful opportunity to further drive financial inclusion through the provision of appropriate insurance and investment solutions.”Mr. Ralph Mupita, MTN Group President and CEO
For now, the Alliance will be chaired by MTN Group CEO, Ralph Mupita, with Sanlam Group CEO Mr Paul Hanratty as Deputy Chair.
Scaling its InsurTech business
MTN InsurTech businesses currently has approximately 6 million active policyholders. However, with the new alliance, MTN is targeting over 30 million policyholders by 2025.
Its new partners, Sanlam is one of the the largest non-banking financial services groups in Africa, with a presence in 33 countries across the continent.
By leveraging MTN’s brand and reach and Sanlam’s licensing across multiple countries, the Alliance can establish a digital insurance and investment capability across Africa.
MTN on its part will be able to accelerate and scale its InsurTech offering as well as its broad product capabilities and expertise.
Sanlam will also leverage opportunity to extend consumer access to its products and grow its Africa operations by providing insurance to MTN’s customer base across the continent.
MTN’s Fintech business currently has about 100 million wallets, 800 000 agents and 650 000 merchants in 19 countries across the continent.
Mr Paul Hanratty, Sanlam Group CEO forecasts that the partnership will lead to strong long-term growth in mobile financial services and insurance and investments.
Insurance penetration remains low in Africa. It is estimated that penetration is less than 5% in most markets except South Africa while about 46% of Africa’s population has access to cell phone services.
This gap provides a big market in the largely untapped insurtech industry. The Alliance has the potential to pre-empt and adapt to digital disruption in markets where both Sanlam and MTN operate.