Telefónica and MasterCard staff up for Latin American mobile payments joint venture

Source: MasterCard

Telefónica and MasterCard's (NYSE:MA) joint venture, created to lead the development of mobile financial solutions in Latin America, unveiled today its new corporate and consumer brand, Wanda, and the team that will lead this initiative.

Wanda will provide mobile payment solutions to over 87 million Movistar customers in the 12 markets where it will operate. These mobile payment services will be linked to a mobile wallet or prepaid account that will allow for money transfers, mobile airtime reload, bill payment and retail purchases, among other services. The mobile wallet and prepaid accounts will be available anytime, anywhere in the world.

Mobile Payment Solutions (MPS), with whom Wanda has a global agreement covering the 12 markets where the mobile payment services will be offered, will be responsible for developing and implementing the mobile wallet technology and its services.

Wanda, with its tagline "Your mobile money" (Tu dinero móvil), is a reflection of the company's core values of providing proximity, safety, innovation, accessibility and dynamism in the solutions it will offer to consumers in the region.

"We are very pleased to announce the brand through which we will develop this mobile payments initiative," said Richard Hartzell, President, MasterCard Latin America and Caribbean region. "Through this powerful brand and its team's leadership and insight, I am convinced that Wanda is headed toward becoming the leading force behind mobile payments in the region, driving economic growth and promoting financial inclusion."

"The creation of the brand is a key milestone for the MasterCard and Telefónica joint venture in Latin America," said Joaquin Mata, Global Head of Financial Services for Telefónica Digital. "Wanda and its newly appointed team are in good shape to continue building the foundation of a strong company that will be focused on offering a complete set of innovative mobile payment solutions that will give access to financial services to the unbanked population in the region."

Wanda is a crucial element of Telefónica's global financial services strategy, all of which is now managed through its new Digital business unit formed last year to seize opportunities in thhe digital world.

Sergio Regueros is the lead executive for the joint venture. Mr. Regueros has been with Telefónica for 7 years, where he has held a variety of senior management roles in Latin America and Spain. Most recently, he was regional director for Telefónica's mobile business for northern Latin America (Mexico and Central America). Previously, Mr. Regueros served as president of Telefónica Móviles Colombia, a position he took over when Telefónica acquired BellSouth Colombia in 2004. Prior to this, he held various general management and business development positions at BellSouth International and Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá.

The company's lead executive for finance, Wes Rivel, has spent 12 years at MasterCard Worldwide fulfilling a series of senior positions in business planning, finance, pricing and risk management. Most recently, he was senior vice president of Market Models & Business Strategy, Market Development, for MasterCard Latin America and the Caribbean.

Marco Sá, the joint venture's lead executive for technology and operations, has over 15 years of experience in management positions in financial institutions such as Banco Itaú, Chase Manhattan Bank and Citibank, where he was responsible for the technical implementation of products and services, and the integration of technology platforms and operations.

The joint venture's lead executive for sales and marketing is Pablo Montesano, who previously served as Telefónica's global director of Financial Services. In that role he built and managed Telefónica's financial services teams across Europe and Latin America, where he led a number of initiatives including co-branded card programs, Movistar's and O2's prepaid mobile wallet, NFC payments and mobile insurance.

Rodolfo Durán is the joint venture's lead executive for strategy. He was previously a Principal for MasterCard Advisors Latin America, MasterCard Worldwide's consulting arm focused on the payments industry, where he built customized solutions that addressed complex challenges throughout the payments lifecycle, helping financial institutions maximize the value of their payments businesses.

"I'm proud to be a part of this joint venture, as I'm ready to embark on this new challenge with great enthusiasm and commitment. Backed by a strong brand and with a talented leadership in place, Wanda has an opportunity to have a strong and positive impact on the economic development of the region," said Regueros.

The company's Latin American operations will be headquartered in Miami, Florida. Today, the company has over 50 employees in the region.

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