MasterCard is announcing several new international partnerships today, as they continue to emphasize their global reach at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
MasterCard and VimpelCom have partnered to provide “best in class mobile payments technology” to VimpelCom’s 212 million customers in 18 countries, with a first joint program launching in Italy in 2013. MasterCard and VimpelCom will provide services for both the banked and underbanked.
“By partnering with VimpelCom, one of the world’s largest integrated telecommunications services operator,” said Hany Fam, President Strategic Alliances at MasterCard Europe. “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.”
In addition to the VimpelCom agreement, MasterCard also announced the introduction of mPOS technology to Kenya through partnerships with Equity Bank and Ezetap.
First announced in January, MasterCard’s deal with Equity Bank will focus on issues 5 million MasterCard cards across Kenya, beginning with a campaign targeted at selected merchant retail outlets. “MPOS has the potential to transform payments in emerging markets. However, our experience in other markets has shown that technology is only half the battle,” said Abhijit Bose, CEO of Ezetap. “To be fully successful, you need a strong set of partners, like MasterCard and Equity Bank, who truly understand the needs and concerns of the local merchants and consumers.”