MasterCard’s International Week (So Far)

The big news at the Mobile World Congress was the unveiling of MasterCard’s new payment platform. However, the payments giant also chose the event to unveil a host of new international partnerships.

On the first day, MasterCard showed its commitment to mobile payments in Spain. MasterCard and Orange announced the signing of a strategic agreement to enhance and accelerate the delivery of innovative mobile payment solutions in the country.

Pilar Aurrecoechea, MasterCard Spain and Portugal general director described the partnership as one more step towards the company’s vision of a world beyond cash. “By signing this partnership MasterCard is continuing to deliver on our vision of a world beyond cash by creating payment methods that are safe and simple to use for people and business”

Next up was Kenya. MasterCard, in collaboration with the country’s Equity Bank, announced the introduction of Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) technology to Kenya. For this they partnered with Ezetap – mPOS technology provider. The Ezetap solution has been operational in India for several months. It consists of a lightweight and robust device that can be plugged into smart phones and tablets. The solution is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS) and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PADSS) global security standards.

“Our collaboration with Equity Bank and Ezetap to introduce this innovative technology to Kenya will help businesses and retailers boost sales through broadened acceptance, said Daniel Monehin, division president, MasterCard Sub-Saharan Africa. “The MasterCard MPOS solution will allow Kenyan retailers who previously operated on a cash-only-basis, to use mobile phones as point of sale (POS) terminals and accept electronic payments.”

Finally, as two countries were not enough, MasterCard decided to take on the rest of the globe. For this they joined forces with VimpelCom, to offer mobile money globally.

The strategic partnership combines MasterCard’s mobile payments technology and solutions with VimpelCom’s globally integrated telecommunications services. It will provide innovative payment solutions to a new generation of customers, both banked and underserved, to VimpelCom’s 212 million customers in 18 countries. The first market to be targeted will be Italy, more specifically a prepaid program for Wind Italy’s customers.

Mikhail Gerchuk, Group Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer of VimpelCom, commented on the importance of mobile money, especially for underbanked populations: “Mobile phones are at the center of peoples’ social and commercial lives. 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.”

With not much space left in the globe to conquer, where will MasterCard head next?


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