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MTN Group

A South African Telecom Leader, Increases Application Approvals by 130% and Conversions by 135% Year-Over-Year with Integrated Credit-Risk Decisioning.

  • The Challenge:

    MTN’s digital customer application process was experiencing high drop-offs and low conversions for new customer applications, exacerbated by long wait times for credit decisions.

  • The Solution:

    Taking a transformative approach, MTN Online partnered with TransUnion and Provenir to create a comprehensive and automated process, with real-time digital onboarding.

  • The Results:

    Lengthy manual processes were retired, and automation was introduced with intelligent background scoring and pre-application vetting. Overall online application approvals increased 130% and an additional 135% of high-risk transactions were stopped – streamlining the customer approval process and greatly reducing the need for manual review.

Addressing the need for successful integrated credit risk management processes

The MTN Group is a pan-African mobile and telecommunications operator, and the continent’s largest mobile operator, offering voice, data, and digital services to more than 292 million customers in 19 countries. It is estimated to be the eighth largest wireless provider globally. MTN South Africa’s Online channel manages the digital journey for current and new customers in the country.

Prior to working with TransUnion and Provenir, MTN Online did not have an integrated credit vetting and digital onboarding approach, causing friction throughout the customer journey. They utilized a bespoke decision engine resulting in a low percentage of new applicants converting through to device and sim card activation.

To apply for MTN services, customers complete an online application form. In the past, new applicants were subjected to an extensive vetting process and some customers who completed the lengthy process then had their applications manually reviewed by MTN agents. If an applicant was not approved in the initial review process, they were added to a second queue to be called back for fraud and credit checks. Drop-offs were high and despite the competitive bundling of service options, lengthy engagement and activation processes were impacting conversions.

TransUnion and Provenir partner to holistically elevate the customer journey

MTN wanted to improve the customer onboarding experience, automate their credit-risk decisioning processes, increase approval rates and conversions, and simultaneously mitigate business risk. To meet MTN’s needs, TransUnion engaged Provenir, a Strategic Distribution Alliance Partner for decisioning and a global leader in AI-powered risk decisioning and data analytics software.

TransUnion examined MTN’s critical business issues across various departments and proposed a roadmap of improvements with a path to implement industry-leading credit vetting, fraud prevention and decisioning practices. Working deftly to earn MTN Online’s trust, TransUnion and Provenir mapped out MTN’s ideal customer journey. This process leveraged TransUnion’s intellectual property from customer journey mapping and provided insight to credit-risk decision management best practices including business rules design. TransUnion also oversaw the program management, while Provenir provided their industry-leading decisioning platform and data marketplace to implement the recommendations. Starting with an online-only focus, MTN implemented the following solutions:

  • TransUnion Consumer Profile to enable customer authentication and pre-fill the application

  • TransUnion TruVision Income Estimator and Variables to calculate affordability upfront in the customer online journey

  • TransUnion Digital Onboarding to perform fraud and identity establishment checks without impacting the customer experience

  • Provenir Decisioning to mirror the current vetting rules and automate the credit decisioning to minimize manual processing of applications

MTN Online can now say “yes” to more customers while mitigating credit and fraud risk

MTN Online was granted access to the TransUnion test environment early in the process to reduce dependencies on their IT team, and together mapped joint services to MTN Online capabilities and requirements. Twelve months after implementing the new decisioning processes, MTN Online saw the following results across key performance indicators:

  • Total application pre-approvals increased 130%, greatly reducing the need for human review and streamlining the customer pre-approval process

  • An increase of 135% in converting new applicants for both a device and sim card, directly influencing their bottom line

  • An additional 135% of high-risk transactions were stopped via fraud mitigation solutions, without adding friction to the application process

Through close collaboration with an industry-leading partnership, MTN was able to implement a decisioning strategy that streamlined revenue-driving processes and enhanced the customer journey. By utilizing Provenir’s open decisioning platform and TransUnion’s actionable data insights, they have automated the pre-approval process, approved more customers, and increased lead-to-sale conversions – holistically elevating their credit risk management capabilities without experiencing an increase in digital fraud compared to levels before implementing the solution.         

Since going live, TransUnion, Provenir, and MTN Online teams meet for continued ongoing performance reviews and recommended enhancements.

About MTN Group

  • Facts:

    Africa’s largest mobile network operator, providing voice, data, fintech, digital, enterprise, wholesale and API services to more than 292 million customers in 19 markets.

  • Headquarters:

    South Africa

  • Website: