The largest mobile operator in Africa has begun offering service on a WhatsApp channel in its home country of South Africa. Dubbed "MTN Chat", the service allows customers to check account balance, top-up, bundle and store credit or debit cards in the app for future purchases.
Gareth Murphy, MTN South Africa's Online Channel GM, indicated the comapany's drive to provide services that are more convenient and provide a better customer experience.
"It’s no secret that the telecommunications sector, around the world, has not excelled at this and we want to change that at MTN," Murphy said. "Simple solutions that are easy to use, and which fit neatly into our customer’s lives, will help be a great differentiator for us.
People don’t want to have to call a call center, they want control and this solution puts the control squarely in the hands of the consumer. We understand which social media platforms the majority of our customers use and how much time they spend on them – so we’re taking the solution there."
The service is provided by another South African company that has a global reach, Clickatell, which is a WhatsApp Business Solution provider.
WhatsApp is extremely popular in South Africa, with 49% of South Africa's 38 million mobile subscribers use it (out of a population of 58 million), according to the Digital in 2018 in Southern Africa report by Hootsuite and We Are Social.
The company added that MTN Chat will be expanded in the future to other instant messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger. Additional services would also be included, such as customer support, the management of upgrades and customer accounts, balance notifications, and customized deals.