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Visa introduces mobile payments for emerging markets

John Ribeiro | Nov. 18, 2011
Visa has introduced a payments product designed for emerging markets to serve the needs of "unbanked and under-banked consumers" who have mobile phones.

Mobile payment services are a large opportunity both for banks trying to extend their reach, and mobile operators trying to boost revenue, according to analysts.

A number of banks in India for example have tied with mobile operators to take mobile payment services to India's poor who do not have access to banks, but have mobile phone connections. The payment services have got a boost after the country's central bank, Reserve Bank of India, allowed banks to appoint "banking correspondents" in remote areas to open new accounts, dispense and accept cash from customers, and offer other services on behalf of the bank.

In June, Nokia started shipping mobile phones in India that were preloaded with its banking application, based on the Obopay mobile payment platform. It is offering services with two banks in India, and is offering some of its retail outlets as correspondents to banks, a spokeswoman said. The deal with one bank has brought the company 500,000 users so far.

 

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