MasterCard has announced a global initiative called the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program to help more than 2.5 billion financially-underserved consumers worldwide gain access to formal financial services through their mobile phones.
MasterCard is working with platform partners Comviva, Sybase 365 and Utiba to enable consumers to purchase goods and services via their mobile phones at millions of brick and mortar and online merchants worldwide, as well as transfer funds and pay bills.
Mobile Money addresses the needs of consumers in developing markets through a readily accessible device, the mobile phone. While only about half of the world’s households have bank accounts – and an even lower proportion in developing countries – seven out of 10 people worldwide have a mobile phone.
“With about five billion mobile phone users worldwide, this program provides powerful, smart and convenient new payment options to people through a device that’s already in the palm of their hands today,” said Mung Ki Woo, Group Executive, Mobile, MasterCard Worldwide. “Our approach is to work with all leading players in the Mobile Money ecosystem to bring the benefits of electronic payments to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access to formal financial services. Comviva, Sybase 365 and Utiba are key strategic platform partners to help implement this vision.”
Stored value accounts, managed primarily by mobile network operators and supported by banks, offer basic services such as mobile top-up, bill payments and P2P payments within the network.
By working with Comviva, Sybase 365 and Utiba, the first companies to join the program, MasterCard is helping mobile network operators and financial institutions accelerate and expand the development of their financial services offerings to their customers. Comviva, Sybase 365 and Utiba’s mobile money solutions are installed or being deployed by more than 200 telecommunication operators and banks across the globe covering more than one billion consumers.
The Mobile Money Partnership Program offers consumers the following MasterCard services:
- Prepaid companion cards that account holders can use at merchants that accept MasterCard cards.
- Virtual card accounts that can be used for eCommerce payments with a user’s mobile money account.
- Person-to-person payments between subscribers of two different mobile money services.
- Face-to-face or remote payments using mobile phones for goods and services at merchants that do not have traditional POS acceptance.