MasterCard Worldwide, Comviva Technologies and Tutuka today announced a strategic collaboration that combines Comviva's mobiquity mobile payment platform, Tutuka's prepaid processing platform and MasterCard's global electronic payments network to further extend financial inclusion to millions of consumers across Africa.
The collaboration will enable Operators providing mobile money services using Comviva's mobiquity® platform to offer their customers prepaid MasterCard cards or Virtual Card Numbers (VCN) linked to their existing stored value accounts. These will enable customers to purchase goods and services at millions of physical and online retailers worldwide where MasterCard is accepted, as well as transfer funds and pay bills.
At present stored value accounts, managed primarily by mobile network operatorsoffer services only to users within the operators network such as mobile top-up, bill payments, merchant payments, cash withdrawal and P2P payments.
"Comviva has established its leadership in empowering mobile money across geographies. By partnering with Tutuka, we can now bring the full benefits of the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program that we joined in February to consumers across Africa. Together, we are now able to bring open loop solutions faster to market, like empowering consumers to utilise their existing stored value account at any of the 33 million locations worldwide that accepts MasterCard, thereby dramatically improving the Mobile Money value proposition," says Srinivas Nidugondi, Vice President, Mobile Finaicial Solutions ,Comviva.
The new solution offered by this collaboration will be available to both Comviva's existing and new mobile money implementations across Africa, with the potential to benefit over 750 million consumers across the continent.
These consumers simply need to engage with their specific Operator, who will register and link their mobile number against a unique MasterCard Prepaid card which will be issued to the consumer. The Operator will also conduct any further steps as is mandated by each market's financial regulator.
"The ubiquity of mobile and interoperability are the keys to the penetration of electronic payments in Africa," says Mung Ki Woo, Group Executive, Mobile, MasterCard Worldwide. "This solution leverages our biggest asset, the MasterCard Worldwide network, to bring ubiquitous acceptance to mobile wallet consumers across Africa in an efficient and cost effective manner."
According to MasterCard, Mobile Money addresses the needs of consumers in developing markets through a readily accessible device, the mobile phone. While only about half of the world's households have bank accounts - and an even lower proportion in developing countries - seven out of 10 people worldwide have a mobile phone. According to Juniper Research, the combined market for all types of mobile payments is expected to reach more than $600B globally by 2013, double the current figure.
The collaboration announced today is a result of a global initiative called the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program launched by the company in February 2012. The objective of the program is to help more than 2.5 billion financially-underserved consumers worldwide gain access to formal financial services through their mobile phones. Tutuka is one of the latest organisations to support this program.
"Tutuka and MasterCard have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship spanning 15 years," says Rowan Brewer, CEO, Tutuka. "This relationship has allowed us to develop African relevant solutions that respond to ever evolving consumer needs, extending the benefits of electronic payments to consumers who would otherwise not be able to benefit from their convenience, ease of use and security."
"MasterCard is continually looking at ways that it can help financially-underserved consumers worldwide gain access to formal financial services," says Michael Miebach, president, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide. "This collaboration with Tutuka and Comviva perfectly illustrates the enormous potential for mobile money solutions to drive financial inclusion across Africa, and continues MasterCard's approach of providing consumers more ways of paying safely, securely and simply."