The Power of the Mobile Phone

Have you ever thought about how you communicate with your friends or family?  Is most of your interaction in person or face-to-face?  Or, are you like the growing segment of the population that communicates heavily via text?

When you stop and look at the statistics, it shouldn’t be that surprising.  There are more than 300 million mobile phone subscribers in the United States and nearly all of their phones (97 percent) are text-enabled.  If you add it up, 75 billion texts are sent each month in the U.S., with an of average 95 percent of those texts being opened and read within 5 minutes of receipt.*

At MasterCard, we recognize the power of the mobile phone in enabling safe, simple and smart payments.  In some markets, like the U.S. and U.K., we’re working with partners to launch mobile wallets to allow consumers to pay with a simple tap of their NFC-enabled device.  In developing regions, our Mobile Money Partnership Program is helping people purchase goods and services with their mobile phones at millions of brick and mortar and online merchants worldwide, as well as transfer funds and pay bills.

We also believe the mobile phone can be used as a tool to empower people and help them secure their financial futures. This week at Prepaid Expo, attendees will receive a sneak peak of a new financial education program designed to help several groups of consumers – including the underserved – better understand the tools and options available to them.  What’s great about this program is that it combines our corporate focus on driving innovative solutions with a long-term commitment to financial literacy to help ensure that individuals have access to opportunities to achieve financial independence and realize their potential.

Keep an eye on this space for more information about the program over the coming weeks.  When you think about it, small changes can make a big difference.  And, sometimes knowing just a little more, can truly help you in the long run.

* Sources:  Pew Research Center 2010; CTIA Semi Annual Survey 2010; Shedd Aquarium 2009; Brightkite Mobile Advertising Report 2009; Nielsen