December 13, 2010
New Platform will make Mobile Network Operators an important player in the financial sector
Tokyo, Japan (December 13, 2010) KDDI Corporation (KDDI) and Microfinance International Corporation (MFIC), a US financial solution provider, announced a partnership involving KDDI's US$22 million investment in MFIC to support its global expansion. The partnership will develop an open mobile payment platform worldwide.
KDDI's extensive global relationship with over 600 carriers and MFIC's innovative money transfer solution - advanced payment/settlement system connected to a network of payers in 90 countries -- will enable mobile network operators (MNOs) to offer competitive financial services and expand the boundary of financial services to integrate billions of unbanked customers into the formal financial system.
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."
Atsumasa Tochisako, President and CEO of MFIC said, "I am grateful for KDDI's confidence in MFIC and its commitment to the development of new global infrastructure. Mobile money brings paradigm shift in the financial sector and I am excited to partner with KDDI to both be leaders in the industry."
As the first step of collaboration, in January 2011 Locus Telecommunications Inc., KDDI's subsidiary headquartered in New Jersey is launching a new service in the US, allowing customers to send money overseas using a multi-purpose calling card.
Still in early stage, mobile money has strong momentum backed by industries, governments and aid organizations given its enormous potential for market growth and financial inclusion. According to CGAP , a microfinance group based at the World Bank, the number of those who lack a bank account but have mobile phone will reach 1.7 billion in 2012, about 70% of the entire unbanked population worldwide.