February 18, 2009

Visa Inc. (San Francisco) and Visa Europe plan to work with the GSMA to help advance the delivery of mobile financial services around the world. The announcement was made at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

As part of continuing collaboration between the two organizations, the GSMA selected Visa to provide mobile money transfer solutions globally. The two bodies are working to formalize the agreement. However, part of the plan calls for Visa and the GSMA to create a set of standards for mobile phone-based money transfers, mobile payment and related services. They hope this collaboration will allow carriers and financial institutions to deploy mobile payments more rapidly and limit market fragmentation. Standardization will promote interoperability among carriers and institutions to ensure a consistent and reliable experience, and promoting faster adoption of the technology, according to the organizations.

"The market is clearly ready for mobile payments and, importantly, the GSMA believes that Visa is well positioned to help us drive the adoption of financial services on mobile devices globally," said Bill Gajda, chief commercial officers for the GSM Association in a statement. "Visa's comprehensive mobile strategy, its extensive experience in enabling consumers to transfer funds across borders and domestically, combined with its flexible approach, were deciding factors in our selection of Visa as a provider for mobile money transfer solutions."

This is just the latest step forward in the relationship between the two organizations. Most recently, Visa and the GSMA worked together to advance mobile-based point-of-sale transactions. This was part of the GSMA's Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative that conducted trials throughout the world, including Canada, Australia, Taiwan and France.

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