February 14, 2013

Visa announced it is rolling out a plug-and-play mobile service designed to help bring mobile financial services to developing countries.

The service is targeted toward banks and mobile operators in these countries to provide mobile financial services to unbanked and underbanked consumers. Visa said it will host and fully manage all aspects of a mobile money program on behalf of the bank or mobile provider, from user interface design to consumer enrollment, transactions processing, authorization, clearing and settlement. The new service can enable domestic-only or globally interoperable mobile money services.

The service is initially being rolled out in India and Rwanda, with Aircel mobile subscribers in India and customers of Bank of Kigali and Urwego Opportunity Bank in Rwanda having access to a financial account that is linked to their mobile phone number.

The new platform, which is being hosted in Visa managed data centers, is built on technology from Fundamo, the mobile money company acquired by Visa in 2011.

Visa also said this new platform is designed to comply with the regulatory frameworks established for mobile financial services and offers mobile network operators and financial institutions a local connection to Visa's global payment network, VisaNet.

[Related: Banking the Unbankable Requires a Targeted Effort]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...