At Mobile World Congress, MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and Syniverse today joined forces to deliver a number of mobile and payment services to enhance peace of mind for mobile users when they are traveling abroad.
Hany Fam, President Global Strategic Alliances, MasterCard, and Joe DiFonzo, CTO, Syniverse, announced a global collaboration of their two companies at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. (Photo: Business Wire)The two companies are currently in pilot-phase for an opt-in service that will enable card transactions for users only when they have their mobile device switched on in a specific geolocation abroad. This service aims to reduce consumers’ frustrations associated with having their payment cards used without their knowledge or having their own transactions unnecessarily declined when trying to make purchases in another country. Financial institutions will also have an additional tool that will help them make more effective decisions when approving or declining a transaction on behalf of their customers. In addition, mobile users could also have a choice of prepaid data packages that they can purchase directly from their phones when they arrive in their destination country. Approximately 75 million mobile phone users travel outside their home country each month, yet today 70 percent of people switch their mobile data function off when they arrive, which is likely in an effort to avoid roaming charges. Mobile network operators and brands can also benefit from the collaboration between MasterCard and Syniverse. In the future, they could implement targeted offers, which will be made more relevant by knowing the location of a mobile device, for example in close proximity to a retail store. A research report for Syniverse from economists at SEEC uncovered a market valued of as much as $44 billion for operators providing services to brands based on opted-in mobile subscribers’ information, behavior and location – known as mobile context. News of the collaboration was announced at Mobile World Congress during today’s “ Mobile Retail: The One Stop Shop” session, which included Joe DiFonzo, Chief Technology Officer, Syniverse, and Hany Fam, President, Global Strategic Alliances, MasterCard. Additional speakers at the session included Rainer Deutschmann, Senior Vice President, Mobile Products, Deutsche Telekom; Gibu Thomas, Senior Vice President, Mobile and Digital, Walmart; and Greg Baxter, Global Head, Mobile and Digital Strategy, Citi. With nearly 2 billion MasterCard cards in circulation, the world’s most advanced payments technology company is processing 65,000 transactions every minute, while Syniverse currently reaches more than 5 billion mobile devices globally via 1,000 mobile service providers.