India’s ICICI teams with mobile operator for Visa service

Indian bank ICICI and local mobile operator Aircel have launched a mobile financial services offering using Visa’s hosted platform solution. The platform is intended to make it easier and more cost-efficient for mobile operators and financial institutions to offer mobile financial services to consumers.

Visa’s platform ws chosen because of the its reach and experience. “Their experience of over ten years in mobile banking combined with their processing capabilities makes them an ideal choice for gateway partner for this enterprise,” said Geoff King, head of mobile banking at Aircel.

Aircel and ICICI Bank will “share all risks and rewards” of using the platform, King added.

“With the combined strength of 2,300 branches of ICICI Bank and 530,000 in Aircel’s retail network, we are well positioned to provide ease and convenience of mobile banking to our customers while supporting the financial inclusion of those lacking access to mainstream banking facilities,” said King.

The firms will offer cash deposits and cash withdrawals, money transfer to third parties, prepaid mobile top-up and various utility bill payments.

Visa’s platform is a bank-grade managed service offering, the firm said, including user interface design, consumer enrolment, transactions processing, authorisation, clearing and settlement. It is built on technology from Fundamo, the mobile money provider acquired by Visa in 2011.

In Rwanda, domestic banks Urwego Opportunity Bank and Bank of Kigali have also begun using the platform, offering customers access to a financial account that is linked to their mobile phone number.

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