MTN Ghana, part of MTN Group, has launched a pilot mobile life insurance service for its customers in the country. The operator has tied up with Hollard Insurance to launch the ‘mi-Life' service.
Bruno Akpaka, general manager for mobile money at MTN Ghana, said: "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 mobiles. Customers will be able to submit claims, queries and make their premium payments using their handsets."
Jeremy Leach, head of micro-insurance, Hollard Insurance Group, told CommsMEA: "We have an agreement with MTN at the group level to deploy insurance in their territories, and will be agreed upon country-by-country. The aim is to have a turnkey solution that we offer to MTN holding responsibility for insurance legislation, licence, administration and ensure that the insurance is directly delivered into MTN customers' mobile accounts."
He said that the tie-up with MTN is to transform insurance in emerging markets making it more relevant for the majority of people whom insurers have ignored. "Whilst we have had considerable success in the low income market where we generate over $190 million in premiums in this segment alone, we believe this partnership will take the market to the next level," Leach added.
Leach said: "For Ghana, we have developed a simple life product and we aim at rolling out a range of other products that are suitable for use by MTN customers. We want to make the insurance services as affordable as possible for people, and hence the premium service varies from 1 cedi to 5 cedis ($0.65 to $3.26)." "MTN has committed to providing its distribution infrastructure for the mobile insurance roll out in MTN Ghana."
Dare Okoudjou, CEO of MFS Africa, a value-added service provider for mobile money, said: "Our operating model is to partner with financial institutions to be able to build these mobile money insurance services, and our agreement with Hollard is to look at different ways of bringing in insurance to mobile wallets.
"In Ghana, the life insurance penetration is very low. If you look at it, only 22% of the population has insurance, and 34% have bank accounts. But when you look at mobile over 50% of the population own mobile and is growing very fast. So, we have the priority to help and educate the people of Ghana in understanding the benefits of insurance," he added.
"With MTN Ghana as the initial launch of the m-insurance service, we plan to rollout the mobile money insurance service for the entire MTN Group, country-wise" he said.
Jeremy stated that in terms of the projected figure for mobile money service penetration, it will be anywhere between 30% to 60% in the next three years across Africa.
MTN Ghana has 9 million mobile subscribers and its mobile money service has already attracted 2 million subscribers since its launch last year. The MTN Group has 141.6 million subscribers operating in 21 territories.