At Mobile World Congress, MasterCard Worldwide, today announced its collaboration with Beam, a revolutionary mobile and electronic commerce wallet, to launch a first-of-its kind, low-cost, MasterCard mobile companion pre-paid card that will allow over 14 million mobile wallet consumers of Beam to transact at physical merchants, online and access ATMs. With over 850 million mobile subscribers in India today 1 the potential for scale and benefits to a growing community cannot be overstated. According to the latest MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index, India achieved a score of 31.5, which puts the country in the middle of the pack with regard to overall readiness for mobile payments. This collaboration is another step by MasterCard toward its vision of a world beyond cash, bringing new and innovative electronic payment solutions to a new generation of customers, both banked and underserved. Now, consumers in India can connect their existing mobile wallets to the world of MasterCard acceptance and electronic payments to pay utility bills, make fund transfers, book movie or travel tickets, and even withdraw money from ATMs as well as Beam franchisees. The prepaid card will seamlessly synchronize with the customer’s existing Beam account. Beginning July/August 2013, these cards will be issued instantly by Beam franchisees (many of whom are educated, unemployed women) across the country. “There’s an increasing need for electronic payments in markets such as India, where more than 40% of the adult population do not have access to banking services. In 2012, we launched the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program seeking to provide consumers living in remote areas of the world with access to mobile money services. The launch of this revolutionary product will not only help bring more Indians into the financial system, but also benefit merchants especially those who currently do not have point-of-sale acceptance, which is roughly around 6 million merchants in India,” said Philip Yen, Group Head, Emerging Payments, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Worldwide.