Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) today announced the launch of a new plug-and-play mobile money platform that will make it easy and cost-efficient for financial institutions and mobile operators to offer mobile financial services to consumers. The global platform is the world’s first bank-grade managed service for mobile money – meaning it allows Visa to host and fully manage all aspects of a mobile money program on behalf of the provider, from user interface design to consumer enrollment, transactions processing, authorization, clearing and settlement. The new service can enable domestic-only or globally interoperable mobile money services.
Unbanked consumers in India and Rwanda are the first to benefit from the service. Aircel mobile subscribers in India and customers of Bank of Kigali and Urwego Opportunity Bank in Rwanda now have access to a financial account that is linked to their mobile phone number. From cash-in and -out transactions at agent locations, to paying bills, sending money to relatives, topping-up air time and buying train tickets, consumers can take advantage of bank-grade financial services and Visa-quality payments.
“We applaud the pioneers in Africa, Asia and the Middle East who have launched closed-loop mobile financial services and reached so many consumers so quickly,” said Bill Gajda, Head of Global Mobile Products for Visa Inc. “As demand grows, so does the cost and complexity to maintain these services. Visa’s new mobile money platform is designed to allow mobile operators and financial institutions to focus on their core business, while leaving the management of their mobile money service to Visa.”
The new platform, which is being hosted in Visa managed data centers, is built on Fundamo’s technology, the mobile money technology acquired by Visa in 2011, which has been successfully deployed in more than 30 countries.“Aircel prides itself in offering its subscribers the most innovative mobile applications that meet the unique needs of consumers in India,” said Geoff King, Head of Mobile Banking, Aircel. “Through the Visa hosted and managed service, Aircel is now able to partner with local banks to offer our mobile subscribers access to money services that will simplify their financial lives. We begin with our partnership with ICICI to offer customers the ability to send cash across the country securely, to top up their prepaid mobile accounts, and pay their utility bills.”