Operator MTN South Africa has announced a move into a new area of financial services. It has launched funeral cover to South African consumers under its new Khava brand – via WhatsApp.
The insurance scheme is backed by Sanlam, a diversified financial services company headquartered in South Africa with a strong presence in more than 30 countries on the African continent. It is facilitated by insurance provider aYo Intermediaries South Africa, which says it provides fast, convenient, easy-to-use hospital and life insurance cover directly to a user’s mobile phone through its partnership with MTN and leading insurers.
The service's onboarding process takes place through WhatsApp. Collections and claims payments are managed via MTN’s Mobile Money (MoMo) platform.
The cost of the service – whose formal name is MyMTN Prepaid Funeral Khava – starts from R75 (just under US$4) per year. MoMo customers can get coverage for either six or 12 months via a one-time premium payment.
Prepaid funeral insurance is only the start, apparently. MTN plans a range of insurance products designed for the local market, in what is described as a “strategic step towards rendering essential financial services more inclusive and responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens”.
However, this move may also be a financial necessity for the operator. As news website TechCentral points out, operators in South Africa have been pushing aggressively into financial services in recent years as they look to broaden their revenue mix beyond voice and data products, where margins are fairly tight.