Targeting in particular the 1.7 billion consumers that it says have joined the world’s middle class in the past decade, most of them in emerging markets, fintech Boku has launched M1ST (Mobile First), which it calls the world’s largest mobile payments network.
The M1ST Payments Network offers more than 330 mobile payment methods, including mobile wallets, direct carrier billing and real-time payments schemes, reaching 5.7 billion mobile payment accounts in 90 countries – all through a single integration.
Boku says that many of the world’s new middle class in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East are bypassing credit cards, and moving from cash to mobile payments. Quoting World Bank figures, it says that 45 percent of consumers globally use mobile wallets against just 18 percent that use credit cards for payments – and suggests that the future of commerce is mobile-first.
It adds, however, that mobile payment acceptance for global merchants is highly complex but suggests that M1ST solves a number of these challenges, firstly by simplifying its many payment methods into a single, scheme-like network. In addition M1ST-enabled payments are built to support the 0-tap subscriptions and 1-tap checkout transactions that enable new, online business models. The scheme is said to be future-proofed, geared to growing use of mobile wallets.
M1ST also delivers merchants a single, global settlement, eliminating the complexity of local taxes, foreign exchange, and cash repatriation. As for regulation, through payment licenses and local entities, M1ST is capable of accepting regulated payments in nearly 50 countries.
This is becoming a highly competitive market and mobile-only payments a big business, especially in the developing world. Boku may be right to target this fast-growing market, but it certainly isn’t alone.