Mobile finance to take off across Latin America with new joint venture

Mobile payments could soon be greatly facilitated across Latin America following the announcement of a new joint venture between MasterCard and Telefonica. The two firms have stated their aim to “lead the development of mobile financial solutions in 12 countries in Latin America where Telefonica is present with the Movistar brand.”

The two firms have an equal stake in the joint venture, which will “leverage banking relationships of both companies, Telefonica’s telecommunications assets and MasterCard’s payments expertise.”

The alliance between the firms will allow customers to use their handsets and devices for various financial services, including money transfers, online shopping, reloading airtime and bill payments. Telefonica has called the agreement “a step toward achieving financial inclusion for the underserved in Latin America – positively impacting its economic development.”

No timeframe for the launch of any products of services has yet been specified. MasterCard recently appointed a former VP of electronic payments at Orange, Mung-Ki Woo, as a Group Executive for fostering “innovation, commercialisation and development of go-to-market strategies to support mobile payments around the world.”

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