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MTN And Ericsson Win Glotel Award For Mobile Financial Services Mastery

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By Emmanuel Oluebube, Senior Correspondent, UK and Oystein Bergmann, Bureau Chief, Scandinavia

MTN and Ericsson have won the Mobile Financial Services Mastery Award at the 2022 Global Telecom (Glotel) Awards, held in London, England. The award recognizes MTN’s Mobile Money Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and the innovation and excellence from the companies in advancing and transforming today’s telecommunications industry.

MTN Mobile Money (MoMo), powered by the Ericsson Wallet Platform, is a fintech solution that is  actively used by over 63 million people in 17 markets. In the third quarter of 2022, MTN MoMo registered an increase of 23.3 per cent in the number of active users from 2021 and a 32.7 per cent increase in transaction volumes to 9.5 billion transactions.

To accelerate the growth of mobile financial services growth, and to encourage innovation in Africa, MTN made its MoMo platform available for third parties by launching the MoMo Open API platform and developer portal. The MTN MoMo Open APIs creates an inclusive partner ecosystem by providing all developers and programmers complimentary access to the MTN Mobile Money proprietary software platform. This enables developers and programmers to create innovative digital financial services and applications, meeting the growing financial needs in Africa.

Executive-Group Fintech Business Development at MTN Cedric Nguessan says: “We are delighted to receive the Glotel Award with our technology partner Ericsson for MTN Mobile Money Open APIs. This award is a testament to the great impact Mobile Money Open APIs are making in accelerating fintech innovation in Africa. Through Mobile Money APIs, we have created an inclusive ecosystem that is open for everyone to join to increase both the commercial and social benefits of mobile financial services.”

The MoMo Developer portal provides an API sandbox that allows developers to thoroughly test their applications, before going live in production. The portal also digitalizes documentation, thereby expediting the process, and provides developer support.

Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit MTN and Customer Unit MTN Africa at Ericsson Hossam Kandeel says: “This award reinforces MTN’s position in the facilitation of mobile financial services as well as Ericsson’s capability to deliver a state-of-the-art mobile wallet platform. Together, MTN and Ericsson are driving the transformation to provide more open, secure, and easily accessible mobile money platforms, thus building a more interconnected and transparent financial ecosystem.”

The MoMo API platform was launched by MTN and Ericsson in 2018 in Uganda and has been extended to more countries, including Ghana, Zambia, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ivory Coast, Benin, Rwanda, Guinea-Conakry, Congo, South Africa, and Liberia. Currently, 23,961 developers are working on extending their innovations with MTN MoMo Open APIs in the platform’s sandbox and 1,656 partners are live in production. MTN MoMo Open APIs have helped to successfully process more than 287.5 million financial transactions in 2022.

Gartner Predicts 20 per cent of Organizations with Sustainable Packaging Goals Will Shift Their Focus from Recycling and Eliminating Plastics to Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Their Packaging by 2026

Confronted with the Challenge of Achieving Ambitious Sustainability Goals, Enterprises will be Forced to Reframe their Targets

With most public commitments to sustainable packaging at risk of going unfulfilled, 20 per cent of organizations will shift their focus from recycling and eliminating plastics to reducing the carbon footprint of their packaging by 2026, according to Gartner, Inc.

While the pivot in focus leaves organizations with unmet pledges vulnerable to greenwashing backlash, early movers that successfully educate stakeholders, customers and investors to the benefits of life cycle assessment (LCA) as an alternative sustainability metric will be better prepared to address and defend their contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

“The packaging ecosystem has not advanced at the pace that organizations setting targets back in 2017 and 2018 had hoped for,” said senior director analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice John Blake. “Organizations face operational and financial challenges that were discovered only through the attempt to deliver their goals, but meaningful progress on sustainability can still be made with more realistic frameworks in place.”

The most popular commitments to sustainable packaging have centered on 100 per cent of packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. However, Gartner previously predicted that 90 per cent of companies with such commitments would see their objectives unmet. Additional non-governmental organization estimates confirm that future scenarios focused on mainstream disposal, collection and recycling will fall short, leading to targets that will almost certainly be missed by most organizations.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as an Alternate Measure of “Sustainable”

Due to these multiple headwinds, Gartner anticipates enterprises will switch focus from increased use of recyclable packaging and elimination of plastics to lower-carbon packaging. Using less packaging material and/or materials that are more efficiently produced, transported, and processed can lead to an affordable reduction in carbon footprints.

Over a decade ago, LCA of packaging was piloted by several organizations, but the complexity of data analysis and a lack of relevancy at the time hampered adoption, according to Blake. Now, new data analysis tools are making packaging LCAs more accessible. Anticipating potential backlash for missing stated targets, organizations are expected to develop messaging around the carbon footprint of packaging and how actions are being taken to offset GHG emissions and mitigate the risks of global warming.

“While missing targets will have repercussions in the public eye, organizations that come to terms with the unfeasibility of their previous brand-driven targets and embrace a more realistic, affordable and effective approach will have more progress to show on their sustainability goals than those who remain in denial,” said Blake.

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