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MasterCard to Help the “Underbanked”

F.Y. Teng | Feb. 23, 2012
In partnership with Comviva, Sybase 365 and Utiba, the global payment processing company will roll out newly enhanced mobile money services for underserved consumers worldwide.

The global payment processing services and technology company, MasterCard, announced Thursday (February 23, 2012) a new global initiative calculated to deliver formal financial services to what its executives refer to as the “more than 2.5 billion financially-underserved consumers worldwide” through their mobile phones.

With reference to the initiative–the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program–MasterCard Worldwide’s Group Executive of Mobile, Mung Ki Woo, said: “With about five million mobile phone users worldwide, this programme provides powerful, smart and convenient new payment options to people through a device that’s already in the palm of their hands today.”

The new services under Mobile Money are being rolled out by MasterCard in partnership with technology companies Comviva, Sybase 365 and Utiba. Altogether, they are expected 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,” said executives at MasterCard.

Talking about MasterCard’s platform partners, Woo said: “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.”

A statement issued by MasterCard executives on Thursday cited the following Mobile Money-enabled being offered to consumers.
* “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 [point of sale] acceptance.”


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