Payments giant Visa has made a major push into the emerging markets m-banking space by acquiring South Africa-based Fundamo for US$110 million. It also signed a new, long-term agreement with UK-based Monitise to ramp up its mobile payment services to Visa cardholders outside of the US. “The combination of acquiring Fundamo and expanding the relationship with Monitise will enable Visa to deliver best-in-class mobile financial services and payments capabilities to consumers across the full spectrum of uses, geographies and mobile environments from basic services on simple handsets to more advanced services for smartphone owners,” said Visa in a statement. The acquisition of the Fundamo payments platform will allow Visa to offer mobile financial services to subscribers across Africa, Asia and Latin America, targeting “billions” of unbanked and under-banked consumers. Fundamo has some 50 deployments in over 40 countries, including 27 countries in Africa and the Middle East and another 10 globally. It currently serves more than 5 million registered subscribers.
Meanwhile, Visa said the agreement with Monitise would allow it to take advantage of the UK firm’s “expertise in customising mobile applications for a broad range of phone models and operating systems” to offer a range of new mobile payment services outside of the US, including mobile top-up, utility payments, and transit ticketing. In addition, Monitise and Visa will launch a mobile banking solution in the US for clients of Visa DPS, Visa’s debit and prepaid processing platform. This new service is designed to enable Visa clients and processing partners in the US to offer their customers a suite of services, such as mobile payments, person-to-person payments, mobile transaction alerts and mobile marketing offers.
Visa is speaking at the GSMA Mobile Money Summit in Singapore later this month. The Mobile Business Briefing team will be reporting live from the show. To receive the official eShow Dailies, register your details in the ‘Stay Connected’ box here.