Visa to Bring Mobile Banking Platform to Pakistan (April 22, 2013)
Visa Inc. is set to launch a new mobile financial service in Pakistan built on technology the payment network acquired under its 2011 purchase of mobile banking service provider Fundamo. According to a report on the Website of The Express Tribune of Pakistan, the service will use Visa’s VisaNet electronic payments processing network and will operate across different banks and telecom providers. The system is likely to launch soon, the report said, with Visa having already earned the backing of the Pakistani central bank, while banks and telecom providers are working to integrate their infrastructure to support the platform.
Mobile banking has been on the rise in nations around the globe, and Pakistan is considered by many to be among the hottest markets. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the nation saw more than 31 million mobile transactions, worth a total of US$1.5 billion, according to the State Bank of Pakistan. And despite a number of providers jumping into the market, Visa is confident there remains room for growth; just 12 percent of Pakistanis have access to traditional banking, while mobile penetration is nearly 70 percent, according to Fundamo. Visa was part of a venture earlier this year between Pakistani financial institution Bank Alfalah and Uganda-based telecom operator Warid Telecom to launch a mobile banking service based on Visa’s Fundamo platform.