As we go to press, Visa has announced the
launch of its ‘new’
mobile platform – the results of its $110m acquisition of
deal was signed in June, and in the intervening months they’ve
done… well… very little in technical terms. It was not rocket
Take Fundamo, a solid, closed-loop mobile
wallet platform with a focus on developing African markets, add it
to the Visa network, and there you have it. An open loop, fully
interoperable, ATM-friendly mobile payments platform. That’s worth
$110m of anyone’s money, when some parties are predicting that the
mobile payments market will be worth almost $1trn within a
couple of years.
Of course, what Visa and Fundamo have mostly
been doing since June is preparing the (re)launch of the service
and shoring up the biggest mobile
network in Africa – the giant MTN – as the first customer.
But again, that didn’t take that much effort.
MTN has been running Fundamo wallets for a couple of years
So it’s all been pretty easy. But that’s not
to detract from the importance of the development. The potential is
huge – as wide-reaching as Visa’s network. The service has
potential in terms of low-value NFC payments, cross-border
e-commerce – and, most importantly, international
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Our next issue will be the last of the year,
and traditionally the issue in which we ask ‘thought leaders’ from
across the industry to put their heads on the block and make
predictions for the coming 12 months.
And, unsurprisingly, our top prediction for
2012 – is that it will be the year
of innovation in remittance. It’s been a while coming. As
the transactional banking continues to evolve, it is fairly clear
that all that remain is for someone to package the service up and
take it to market.
But who will take that opportunity? Retail
banks? Telcos? Traditional remittance players? PayPal?
Answers on a Christmas card please!
Another fairly obvious prediction for 2012 is
compliance is going to gather pace. In this issue, have spoken
to the key clearing players to find out what life
after the end-date will look like for ACHs. Once the ownership
structure changes and ACHs go international, who will oversee
The clearing houses already processing in two
or more countries, have to comply with rules set by all individual
central banks in those countries. So what if something goes wrong?
What will be the impact cross-border? These questions give rise to
the question of what the target end-stage structure will be like,
and we will be investigating the implications of these questions in
the new year.