The MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program is a global initiative by MasterCard (NYSE:MA) to provide financial services to more than 2.5 billion financially under-served consumers worldwide through their mobile phones. Through this program, the company hopes to reach its next billion customers. And it will be fueled by collaboration and innovation by all the players in the ecosystem including technology providers, mobile network operators and financial institutions.  MasterCard is well ahead of its bigger rival Visa (NYSE:V) in the mobile payments market race.
MasterCard has launched its Mobile Money partnership program with Indian mobile services provider Comviva, mobile messaging service Sybase 365, and a Singapore-based mobile financial services company Utiba as initial partners. There are about 5 billion mobile phone users in the world, and MasterCard is providing them access to traditional financial services like the ability to transfer funds, pay bills and purchase goods and services at brick-and-mortar stores or through e-commerce websites through a device they already own. This service has tremendous growth potential in regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe where banking infrastructure is not well developed and only a small proportion of the population is banked.
MasterCard has inked several new partnerships and collaborations around the globe in the mobile payments space during the past few months, including:
Wanda – A joint venture between MasterCard and Telefonica that is designed to provide mobile payment solutions to over 87 million customers of Movistar in its Latin American markets. Customers will be able to transfer money, reload mobile airtime, pay bills and make retail purchases through a mobile wallet or a prepaid account linked to the mobile phone.
BOKU Inc. - MasterCard’s partnership with BOKU is aimed at providing consumers a convenient way to pay on the go. It will allow consumers to make payments, receive discounts and targeted offers, and monitor spending through their mobile phones.
We estimate MasterCard’s transaction volumes to nearly double to 53 billion by 2018 due to its efforts in the mobile payments market.Notes:
- MasterCard Sets Sights on the Next Billion Consumers as It Unleashes the Future of Mobile Payments, Feb 29, 2012, Press Release [↩]