MasterCard pushes mobile payments worldwide

26 February 2013
Aasha Bodhani
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Standard view of the Mastercard logo in colour.

Mastercard's VimpelCom deal gives it significant reach into the global mobile transactions market.

MasterCard and VimpelCom have joined forces to provide an integrated mobile payments service.

Announced at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, The aim of the service is to provide payment solutions, such as money transfers between individual customers, bill payments from mobile devices, and mobile commerce across its European, Asian and African markets – Netherlands-based telecommunications services provider VimpelCom claims 212 million customers worldwide. Some market analysts such as Bloomberg have rated the company as the sixth largest mobile network operator in the world (by subscribers).

The first launch will see a prepaid money service provided to customers of VimpelCom’s Italian telecoms brand, Wind Italy by working with financial institution CartaLIS. This service will be offered later in 2013 sources say.

MasterCard is also involved in a mobile payments service in Kenya with Equity Bank and device vendor Ezetap.

This pilot assists retailers in accepting credit, debit or prepaid card payments via a dongle that is attached onto a smart device, the companies claim. The aim is to provide cash-only retailers the ability to accept card payments.

“The convergence of the physical and digital worlds is now offering more payment options with increased customer choice,” says MasterCard Europe president strategic alliances, Hany Fam, “but with multiple access devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, it means that consumer behaviour is dramatically evolving worldwide - and MasterCard must adhere to this.”

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