Visa has introduced a new prepaid account that can be accessed through mobile phones for consumers in developing countries. The service is enabled by Fundamo, a mobile financial services provider in developing economies recently acquired by Visa for $110 million in cash.
Network operators and financial institution will be able to offer Visa prepaid accounts on mobile phones to under-banked and unbanked consumers. The credit card company’s goal is to provide consumers in developing countries access to secure electronic payments and financial services. Jim McCarthy, head of product for Visa Inc. commented: “Mobile technology has become the single most important driver of financial inclusion that is enabling financial institutions, mobile network operators and Visa to connect unbanked consumers to each other and the global economy.”
The service will be offered first by MTN, a mobile network operator (MNO) in Africa and the Middle East, to customers in Nigeria and Uganda. Visa’s new service will enhance the MNO’s current Mobile Money offering, it enables 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 Visa ATMs.