In the past few weeks, several news stories have highlighted the opportunity to grow mobile payments in emerging markets. We couldn’t agree more that there is a significant opportunity to bring innovative mobile payments solutions to emerging markets and, in doing so, give the underbanked and unbanked population access to the benefits of digital currency.
In today’s New York Times, Kevin J. O’Brien highlights how widespread mobile devices have become and how they are empowering people in countries such as Tanzania, Pakistan, Madagascar, Kenya and Afghanistan to pay and be paid more securely and efficiently.
Similarly, in an article titled ‘Mobile Money:’ Market Strategies Can Be A World Apart, PaymentsSource reporter Andrea McKenna explores programs in a variety of emerging marketing including India and Peru.
Both articles emphasize that mobile payments not only provide access to basic financial services that many of us take for granted, but also that mobile payments are quickly becoming a reality worldwide.
Another recent article in the Los Angeles Times highlighted the positive impact that mobile payments are having on the unbanked stating that “Mobile banking for the poor — via cellphone in Kenya and Bangladesh and smart card in Mexico – is becoming so successful that villagers who live far from the nearest bank and whose earnings fall well below traditional minimum deposit thresholds are becoming twice-a-week depositors.”
Visa is at the forefront of bringing mobile payments initiatives to emerging markets. For instance, in Peru Visa launched Visa Pago Móvil in collaboration with Telefónica Movistar allowing Visa debit and credit cardholders to pay for services and products using their mobile phones. Users of this service can buy wireless air time, pay for taxi rides, food delivery and flower delivery, among other things. Today, four main banks in Peru offer this service to cardholders and around 800 merchants in the country offer this type of payment.
As the demand for mobile payment services accelerates in marketplaces around the world, Visa will continue to work with its partners to create innovative mobile payments programs that recognize and meet specific regional needs. To read more about our mobile payments programs, review our latest mobile media kit or check out a recent video interview from Gordon Cooper, our Regional Head of Mobile Payment in Asia-Pacific.
Posted by: Erika White, Visa Corporate Relations on November 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm