Visa is teaming up with MTN Group, a teleco operating in Africa and the Middle East, to offer a new mobile prepaid account service that will provide secure financial services and electronic payments to unbanked consumers in developing countries.
Visa’s new product will enable MTN Mobile Money account holders to send funds to each other, send and receive international remittances, make purchases at merchants or online where Visa is accepted or withdraw funds at a Visa ATM.
MTN Group says it plans to offer the solution to its 5.7 million Mobile Money customers across its markets in Africa and the Middle East, staring with Nigeria and Uganda.
According to Visa, the service is made possible thanks to the company’s recent acquisition of mobile money platform Fundamo. The result is the first globally interoperable mobile payment platform that can connect existing mobile money services with Visa’s global payment network, VisaNet.
In the past ten years, 100 million people have been newly banked through mobile services that offer consumers basic financial services, according to Visa. Today, more than 100 mobile money programs provide consumers in developing countries with basic financial services, with several more being planned by mobile network operators and financial institutions.
Developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America are among the first target markets for Visa’s new service.