Reuters is reporting that South Africa’s MTN is teaming up with Hollard Insurance and MFS Africa to launch a mobile money life insurance pilot project in Ghana. Starting Wednesday, Ghanaians can buy “mi-life” life insurance for 1 to 5 cedis for two people — the holder and one next of kin — with a coverage of 500 to 2000 cedis, the companies said.
Customers can purchase the insurance through a mobile money agent or directly via their mobile phones protected by a pin code. The service is called mi-Life
Mobile Insurance has been tried by Safaricom through M-kesho and also a leading insurance company in Kenya. Virtual transactions of cash via mobile phones have mushroomed across the continent and grown in acceptance among the millions of the poor and unbanked Africans.
mi-Life is available through MTN’s Mobile Money in Ghana and has plans to rollout rapidly in other countries. It will provide MTN Mobile Money users with the opportunity to buy life insurance via their mobile phones. Users will also be able to initiate claims, queries and make premium payments using their handsets.
MTN is Africa’s biggest wireless operator, active in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Bruno Akpaka, General Manager, Mobile Money, MTN Ghana said they would start a broader rollout in western African countries first.
Zimbabwe’s mobile operator Econet Wireless is trying a different approach with Trustco Group and insurance company First Mutual Life.
Called EcoLife, it gives Econet subscribers access to life insurance via prepackaged airtime on their mobile phones while building customer loyalty.