November 18th, 2011

Visa launches mobile pay­ments for cheaper phones in emer­ging markets


Visa 150x46 Visa launches mobile payments for cheaper phones in emerging marketsVisa has launched a mobile pay­ments sys­tem which doesn’t require inter­net access and is designed to be used on low-​cost mobile phones in emer­ging markets.

The pre­paid Visa account can be used by account hold­ers to send funds to each other, send and receive inter­na­tional remit­tances, make pur­chases at mer­chants or online, or with­draw funds from a Visa cash machine.

Visa said that is was cre­ated to serve the needs of “unbanked and under-​banked con­sumers” who have mobile phones. Devel­op­ing coun­tries in Africa, Asia and Latin Amer­ica will be the first mar­kets to be tar­geted with the new product.

The trend in emer­ging mar­kets is that mobile phone pen­et­ra­tion will be higher than bank pen­et­ra­tion… Con­sumers are far more likely to have a mobile phone than a bank account.” Brad Jones, Dir­ector for Mobile Money, Visa

The pay­ment sys­tem makes use of USSD (Unstruc­tured Sup­ple­ment­ary Ser­vice Data) tech­no­logy, which can be accessed on low-​cost hand­sets, accord­ing to Brad Jones, Visa’s dir­ector for mobile money. The tech­no­logy comes from the Visa’s acquis­i­tion earlier this year of Fun­damo, a South African vendor of a mobile fin­an­cial ser­vices plat­form for fin­an­cial insti­tu­tions and mobile operators.

Users at ATMs or aim­ing to make trans­ac­tions online will have to enter com­bin­a­tions of the mobile num­ber linked to their account, an iden­ti­fic­a­tion num­ber, and a CVV (card veri­fic­a­tion value) code issued to them, Jones said.

MTN Group, a tele­comms pro­vider in Africa and the Middle East, expects to offer the new Visa ser­vice to MTN MobileM­oney cus­tom­ers across its mar­kets. Ini­tially it will be avail­able in Nigeria and Uganda.

Mobile pay­ment ser­vices are a large oppor­tun­ity both for banks try­ing to extend their reach, and mobile oper­at­ors try­ing to boost rev­enue, accord­ing to analysts.

2 comments to Visa launches mobile pay­ments for cheaper phones in emer­ging markets


  • Exactly where is the face­book like button ?


  • […] Visa launches mobile pay­ments for cheaper phones in emer­ging mar­kets Visa has launched a mobile pay­ments sys­tem which doesn’t require inter­net access and is designed to be used on low-​cost mobile phones in emer­ging mar­kets. Source: http://​www​.rosen​berg​.co​.uk […]

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