The technology is targeted at the banked and underserved 212 million customers that VimpleCom have across all 18 countries in which they operate.
The first country to see the technology release will be Italy, through telephone service provider Wind Italy. It aims to launch sometime in 2013.
As the year moves forward, MasterCard and VimpelCom aim to roll out across more countries – leveraging both their skills to provide a complimentary suite of mobile payment solutions for customers, with the aim to solve consumer and merchant payment needs anywhere in the world.
“Mobile phones are at the center of peoples’ social and commercial lives,” said Mikhail Gerchuk, VimpleCom’s group chief commercial and strategy officer. “Today, in many of the countries where VimpelCom operates, mobile penetration is much higher than ownership of a bank account. We are pleased to be partnering with MasterCard to deliver innovative and reliable financial services solutions over our mobile networks.
“We share the vision of providing our existing and future customers with quick, convenient and secure ways to pay locally and remotely. This collaboration will also help us to strengthen our customers’ experience by offering value add services including, but not limited to person to person payments, bill payments and mobile commerce.”
MasterCard Europe’s president of strategic alliances Hany Fam concluded: “The convergence of the physical and digital worlds is increasingly offering more payment and commercial options along with increased consumer choice and greater convenience.
“Multiple access devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets mean that consumers’ behavior is dramatically evolving worldwide. By partnering with VimpelCom, one of the world’s largest integrated telecommunications services operators, MasterCard is addressing mobile payments that will replace cash in the day-to-day life of millions of people and drive financial inclusion across the globe.”
It’s hardly surprising that MasterCard are looking to partner up with providers and stretch out their mobile payment solution ideas as there clearly seems to be a market for such a product within the payments space.
MasterCard also announced earlier this week that they would be rolling out a MasterPass service later this year to capitalise upon the Western adoption of mobile banking and payments.
Do you think MasterCards aggressive expansion into the mobile payment space is a good one?
Can their impressive clout in the cards business translate into the mobile space?
Let us know by sounding off with your thoughts in the comments below.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the growth of mobile payments and banking, and you want to have a chance to talk to some of the big names in the sector, come to Cards & Payments Africa 2013 this September