Telefónica and Visa Europe form mobile money partnership

Telefónica and Visa Europe form mobile money partnership

Telefónica and Visa Europe have formed a partnership that will see the pair co-invest in a range of mobile money products and services.

The Europe-wide strategic alliance makes Visa Europe Telefónica's preferred partner for the issuance of branded payments cards and the development of related mobile payment services.

The pair plan to work together on developing merchant offers, mobile wallet, contactless payments and acquirer services for mobile point of sale.

Joaquin Mata, director, financial services, Telefónica Digital, says: "This market has enormous untapped potential and through this partnership with Visa Europe we aim to unlock significant new business opportunities."

Mariano Dima, EVP, product and marketing solutions, Visa Europe, adds: "This partnership will deliver mainstream, commercial mobile payments on an international level."

Last year Telefónica formed a joint venture with Visa's rival MasterCard to offer mobile financial services for 65 million consumers in Brazil.

Yesterday the telco also formed direct-to-bill partnerships with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion, enabling users to pay for content through their mobile phone bills.

New research from Finaccord shines a light on how telcos are trying to form mobile payment joint ventures with card schemes, banks and tech firms in what is still an extremely fragmented market.

Of 65 major telcos worldwide studied by Finaccord, 51 have one or more strategic initiatives in mobile payments, with a further eight reporting that they had concrete plans for the introduction of group ventures in the near future.

Edward Wilford, consultant, Finaccord, says: "Mobile payments and banking as a market represents an opportunity for a lot of traditional competitors to co-operate to varying degrees. Several of the major joint ventures involve key payment companies and mobile operators working together to establish an open standard for the country or region."

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