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Financial Inclusion through Mobile Money: It’s as Simple as S-M-S

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. Each day, MasterCard is looking at ways that it can help the more than 2.5 billion financially-underserved consumers worldwide gain access to formal financial services. And mobile phones present the next great opportunity to do so.

Today, we’ve launched the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program. Working with Comviva, Sybase 365 and Utiba, we’re enabling consumers around the globe to purchase goods and services via their mobile phones at millions of brick and mortar and online merchants worldwide, as well as transfer funds and pay bills. This partnership program offers consumers the following MasterCard services:

  • Prepaid companion cards that account holders can use at merchants that accept MasterCard cards.
  • Virtual card accounts that can be used for eCommerce payments with a user’s mobile money account.
  • Person-to-person payments between subscribers of two different mobile money services.
  • Face-to-face or remote payments using mobile phones for goods and services at merchants that do not have traditional POS acceptance.

By adding these services, we’re providing mobile money users with greater flexibility for their payment decisions. Now a consumer in India can go to a general store that accepts MasterCard cards and can purchase goods without the use of physical currency, something that was never available to them before.

The Mobile Money Partnership Program marks our latest efforts to help bring financial services to consumers in all corners of the globe via mobile money services.

How else would you like to see us help those without bank accounts?