Is the world truly ready to adopt mobile payments? To give in indication, MasterCard’s thought leadership unit Global Insights has issued a research paper, titled Mobile Payments Readiness Index (MPRI).
MasterCard has listed 34 markets across the globe in terms of mobile payment adoption readiness.
Theodore Iacobuzio, vice-president, Global Insights, wrote on the MasterCard blog:
“The headline of the Index is simple and compelling: It’s early days for mobile payments but we are making significant progress. On a scale of zero to 100, the MPRI average is 33.2. The 34 countries range from 22.4 to 45.6 (a narrow spectrum) and no one market has a monopoly on mobile payments adoption. The MPRI’s top five markets are Singapore, Canada, the United States, Kenya, and South Korea. (…)
“It allows anybody with a browser to get in-depth information on individual markets, compare countries, and obtain a unique snapshot of where the industry stands regarding mobile payments—a critical element in our strategy to create a world beyond cash.”
The MPRI Index visualises data and is what Iacobuzio calls a “dynamic web-based tool”.
Microfinance with m-services
In a separate, but related, announcement, MasterCard revealed that it is working with the IFC to support financial inclusion of the unbanked in Africa.
The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and provides financing services and advice for ventures and projects in developing countries.
Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, said:
“As we scale institutions and support new mobile financial service opportunities, this partnership will also create knowledge that will be invaluable in promoting greater financial inclusion.”
The partnership is worth USD37.4m and will focus mostly on microfinance banks that are looking to grow their product and service portfolios. Low-cost mobile payment and other related financial services will be a key focus.
Since 2006, the MasterCard foundation has supported microfinance projects in Sub-Sahara. Its partnership deals to date are worth USD230m.