Cellum, the mobile transactions solutions provider, announced Wednesday (April 5) at the SMART Conference a new solution aimed at providing financial services to the unbanked and underbanked.
In a press release, Cellum said the solution is dubbed Connected Card and utilizes prepaid cards to enable users to make purchases both online and in-store using NFC and to send funds directly to other users. During a presentation at the confab, Cellum Chief Officer Ábel Garamhegyi said that while mobile transaction solutions built on top of the traditional financial ecosystem have gained significant ground in recent years, a large portion of the world’s population is shut out because they don’t have access to a bank account. That’s particularly true in the developing countries of Asia and Africa, the executive said. He noted exclusion from financial services has the hardest impact on those who would need them the most. Connected Card aims to solve this problem by providing an easy way of joining the open-loop card world, said the Cellum COO.
“Prepaid cards currently represent an estimated USD $45 billion market. Thanks to their ease of use and low barrier to entry, so many people already find them useful. We believe that by introducing mobile financial services based on prepaid cards, we can foster financial inclusion for those who need it the most,” said Garamhegyi. “Cellum has always been looking for ways to broaden the horizon for mobile payments. Connected Card is a new milestone in our efforts to bring meaningful fintech innovation to the market.”
In order to access the service, users need only to install a smartphone application through which they can sign up for the service and immediately get a virtual prepaid card. Following a quick activation process, the card can be used right away for all standard bank card transactions. Instead of the usual onboarding process, people who have previously not had access to digital transaction services can join the open-loop world of card payments in a matter of minutes, said the company. Connected Card supports online payments through MasterPass, in-store payments using NFC and peer-to-peer transactions between users.