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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

Zuum in Brazil: Fast, Safe and Inclusive Mobile Payments

Marcos Etchegoyen is CEO of MFS – the joint venture between MasterCard and Telefonica Internacional


There are 200 million Brazilians but when we look at the number of mobile phones that are currently active, this figure is higher than the population of the country.  It is as though each of us had more than one mobile phone in our hands.  Add this to the fact that Brazil has 80 million people with no access to banking services and we find ourselves in a very favorable environment to offer an efficient mobile payment solution that also provides financial inclusion for these people. Based on our assessment of this scenario, we created Zuum, the first product from MFS, a joint venture between Telefonica Internacional and MasterCard Worldwide.

Zuum Mobile Payments in Brazil

Zuum in Brazil is the first first product from MFS, a joint venture between Telefonica Internacional and MasterCard.

To make sure that we understood and served our target audience, we conducted a survey to better understand their relationship with money: how they pay bills, how they get credit, etc. This information helped us to develop a product that could meet their daily needs. The study also helped us to understand that Brazil’s new middle class:

  • currently lives in collaborative networks of relatives, friends and neighbors who support one another financially;
  • cash is the main form of payment, they have no stable income and, most importantly;
  • they have no relationship with a bank.

Our analysis has shown that this segment is ready for a payment method that allows people to do everything from home, without waiting in lines and with the service fees converted into credits that are included in their mobile phone bills.

Zuum has arrived to revolutionize the way Brazilians make and receive mobile payments.  The technology can be used to make deposits, transfers, refill credit and pay bills easily and securely.  Furthermore, clients can obtain a Zuum prepaid card from certain retail outlets and link it to their Zuum account, providing access to stores in Brazil that accept MasterCard.  None of this requires opening an account or showing proof of income.

Governments and companies worldwide have been trying to change lives through financial inclusion. And we believe that solutions like Zuum play an important role in this process.  Brazilians have a special affinity for technology and quickly adopt new offerings.  We believe the solution has potential, breaking down barriers as it becomes an important tool for social and economic rise.