KDDI makes investment in financial solutions firm

Japanese carrier KDDI has invested $22m in US financial solution provider Microfinance International Corporation. The operator said that the deal will allow the two firms to develop an open mobile payment platform that will be made available to mobile operators worldwide.

KDDI said this would “enable mobile operators to offer competitive financial services and expand the boundary of financial services to integrate billions of unbanked customers into the formal financial system.” The firm said its global relationship with more than 600 carriers and MFICs connection to a network of payers in 90 countries would open up significant potential opportunities.

Takashi Tanaka, President of KDDI said, “We are seeing more and more convergence of telecommunications and financial services going on worldwide, still most of them are local movements. In such circumstances, I am very excited and looking forward to the collaboration with MFIC who has extensive financial expertise, bringing both of us a chance for true global business development.”

Figures from Informa Telecoms & Media’s Intelligence Centre service show that mobile financial transactions are set to grow enormously in volume. The number of users of these services is set to grow from 142.8 million in 2009 to 1.4 billion in 2014, the firm forecasts. Over the same period the number of events is set to grow from 11.5 billion to 153 billion.

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