Earlier this year we reported that Visa was acquiring South African mobile financial services company Fundamo for around £68 million. It’s now announced the first Visa product using Fundamo’s platform, which will enable financial institutions and mobile network operators to offer Visa prepaid accounts on mobile phones.
The accounts will be targeted at unbanked and ‘under-banked’ consumers in developing countries. Customers will be able to use a mobile phone to send funds to each other, send and receive international payments, shop online and - with an optional card - withdraw funds at an ATM.
Telecommunications provider MTN Group, which already has almost 6 million customers using its own MTN Mobile Money service in 12 countries, plans to offer the new Visa-powered product to customers in Nigeria and Uganda.
Jim McCarthy, head of product for Visa Inc, said “Reaching consumers who have previously lacked access to formal financial services with secure and reliable electronic payments is finally a reality. Mobile technology has become the single most important driver of financial inclusion that is enabling financial institutions, mobile network operators and Visa to connect unbanked consumers to each other and the global economy.”