In a landmark deal between MasterCard Worldwide, Comviva Technologies and Tutuka, the three companies announced a massive strategic collaboration that combines Comviva’s mobiquity mobile payment platform, Tutuka’s prepaid processing platform and MasterCard’s global electronic payments network. This combination aims to further extend financial inclusion to millions of consumers across Africa.
The collaboration will enable mobile money platform providers to offer their customers prepaid MasterCard cards or Virtual Card Numbers (VCN) linked to their existing stored value accounts. These will enable customers to purchase goods and services at millions of physical and online retailers worldwide where MasterCard is accepted, as well as transfer funds and pay bills.
At present stored value accounts, managed primarily by mobile network operators offer services only to users within the operators network such as mobile top-up, bill payments, merchant payments, cash withdrawal and person-to-person payments. The new solution offered by this collaboration will be available to both Comviva’s existing and new mobile money implementations across Africa, with the potential to benefit over 750 million consumers across the continent.
The system works by linking the customer’s mobile number against a unique MasterCard Prepaid card, which will be issued to the consumer. This way the user of the card can top up this card via their phone.
This solution leverages Mastercard’s biggest asset, their worldwide network, to bring ubiquitous acceptance to mobile wallet consumers across Africa in an efficient and cost effective manner.”
According to MasterCard, Mobile Money addresses the needs of consumers in developing markets through a readily accessible device, the mobile phone. While only about half of the world’s households have bank accounts – and an even lower proportion in developing countries – seven out of 10 people worldwide have a mobile phone. According to Juniper Research, the combined market for all types of mobile payments is expected to reach more than $600B globally by 2013, double the current figure.
The collaboration is a result of a global initiative called the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program launched by the company in February 2012. The objective of the program is to help more than 2.5 billion financially-underserved consumers worldwide gain access to formal financial services through their mobile phones. Tutuka is one of the latest organisations to support this program.
This is all part of MasterCard’s continual look at ways that it can help financially underserved consumers worldwide gain access to formal financial services. Thanks to Tutuka and Comviva this is now a possibility.