Visa Launches Mobile Money Program for Developing Nations (Feb. 14, 2013)
Feb. 14, 2013
A new “plug-and-play” mobile money platform from Visa Inc. is aimed at enabling financial institutions and mobile network operators in developing nations around the world to offer mobile financial services. The program—built on technology Visa acquired via its 2011 purchase of mobile financial services provider Fundamo—enables the payment network to host and manage every aspect of the platform on behalf of FI and MNO clients, including customer management, enrollment, risk management and reporting and compliance.
“As demand grows, so does the cost and complexity to maintain these services,” said Bill Gajda, head of global mobile products at Visa, who added that the new platform “is designed to allow mobile operators and financial institutions to focus on their core businesses, while leaving the management of their mobile money service to Visa.” Two programs based on the platform already have been announced—one in India, from wireless provider Aircel and partner ICICI Bank, which will roll out later this year; and another in Rwanda, an alliance between Bank of Kigali and Urwego Opportunity Bank.
The new effort by Visa comes amid the flurry of mobile money programs that have been launched in developing markets over the past few years, as FIs and MNOs have moved to capitalize on large underbanked populations and mobile phone ubiquity in many such nations.