M2M and mobile payments specialist Gemalto has to supply prepaid payment cards to the Mobile Financial Services (MFS) joint venture between Telefonica and MasterCard.
The cards – based on the EMV (Europay (Waterloo, Belgium), MasterCard (Purchase, NY, USA) and Visa (Foster City, CA, USA)) standard – will be used to support a new payment service in Brazil called Zuum, which is being offered through Telefonica’s Vivo (Sao Paolo, Brazil) subsidiary.
Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) says that Zuum is designed to “provide financial inclusion for the unbanked”, estimating that 40% of Brazilians fall into this category and that its own network covers about 90% of Brazil’s entire population.
Gemalto (Amsterdam, Netherlands) is also to provide personalization services associated with EMV prepaid cards to MFS.
Zuum customers will be able to set up prepaid accounts for carrying out a variety of financial transactions, including money transfers, merchant purchases and ATM cash withdrawals.
Gemalto claims its card will be compatible with terminals in operation at some 1.8 million merchants throughout Brazil.
“We relied on Gemalto to help us quickly launch the first of several innovative solutions that will allow mobile subscribers with or without bank accounts to make secure payment and money transfers conveniently with pre-paid m-payment services,” said Marcos Etchegoyen, the president of MFS.
“Our goal is to promote financial inclusion for unbanked Brazilians and to extend secure payments via mobile devices to all consumers who seek alternative payment services with the lowest possible cost,” he said.