Visa Expands Mobile Capabilities with Acquisition, Partnership

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

With its $110 M acquisition of mobile money services firm Fundamo and a new alliance with Monitise Group, Visa Inc. expands its recently announced mobile strategy. The announcement three weeks ago covered Visa’s digital wallet solution. Yesterday’s announcement incorporates additional services around mobile payments and mobile banking that address developing and other international markets, person-to-person funds transfer, and various implementations of prepaid mobile. Visa will soon integrate Fundamo’s platform and provide mobile money capabilities as a managed service for Visa issuers and mobile network operators (MNOs). The acquisition also extends Visa’s buying and investing spree that saw them pick up CyberSource and take equity in Square.

From the WSJ:

South Africa-based Fundamo has more than 5 million registered subscribers spanning more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Its prepaid payment platform allows customers to make person-to-person transactions, top-up airtimes, pay bills and check bank accounts using mobile phones over regional networks that are often fragmented and limited in reach and ability to expand.

Visa said its combined platform with Fundamo has the potential to connect billions of unbanked and under-banked consumers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The global payment processor expects the acquisition to close Thursday and slightly dilute its earnings this fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Visa also signed a new, long-term agreement with Monitise PLC (MONI.L), a firm that provides mobile financial services in more developed economies. The companies plan to launch a new mobile banking system in the U.S. for Visa’s debit and prepaid processing platform.

From the Visa blog:

Both companies play important roles in extending electronic payments and services via mobile devices. Taken together, they accelerate Visa’s ability to bring financial services to banked and unbanked consumers worldwide. This means that consumers – across the full spectrum of uses, geographies and mobile environments – can access basic financial services on a simple handset or more advanced services on a smart phone.

Fundamo brings a platform for Visa to deliver mobile financial services for unbanked and underbanked consumers in developing markets. Fundamo is already delivering services like person-to-person payments, airtime popup, and bill payment in more than 40 countries – with Visa, these services can integrate with VisaNet, adding interoperability and utility with the potential to connect billions of people to each other and to the global economy.

And through our extended relationship with Monitise, we will expand delivery of mobile financial services to Visa banked account holders — enabling electronic payments on the go for those who are more likely to transact on a mobile device than in person.

Click here for the Visa blog.
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