“The operating costs of providing a mobile money platform has become prohibitive,” MTN said in a statement on Thursday.
MTN launched its South African service in 2012 after the success of Safaricom’s M-Pesa in east Africa convinced some executives the service was the industry’s next growth area.
This is the second telecoms company to scrap the service in South Africa. The first was Vodacom. Vodacom and Safaricom, operators of the largely successful M-Pesa are controlled by Vodafone in Britain.
MTN said its decision did not mean a complete exit from financial services.
“MTN is still committed to remaining a significant player in the financial services space and we are exploring opportunities in financial services space and other adjacent sectors,” it said.