South African mobile banking and payment software company Fundamo has signed a partnership agreement with Accenture to accelerate the worldwide adoption of mobile wallets.
Accenture will lead the promotion of mobile wallets worldwide in 2008, which will allow mobile network operators (MNOs) to deploy, operate and fine tune a mobile wallet service, learning how to streamline registration, optimise price points and test partnering relationships with a bank, prior to full scale mobile wallet service deployment.
The Accenture Mobile Wallet platform will be presented to 700 mobile network operators early in 2008.
"This partnership combines Accenture's ability to define and deliver new business opportunities globally, bringing together both communications and financial services markets, with Fundamo's deep experience and technology development in the mobile payments market," says Aletha Ling, head of business development at Fundamo.
"Mobile wallets – the combination of a phone and branded payment card – offers a powerful proposition for an MNO and partner bank, leveraging the MNOs customer penetration and brand image, and the bank's stability and payment skills, to enable remote payments, person to person payments and international remittances."
Michael Eagleton, Accenture¹s mobile wallet lead, says: "The Accenture Mobile Wallet platform builds on Fundamo¹s seven years of hard won experience in the sector, allowing MNOs worldwide to trial, learn and deploy scalable mobile wallet solutions with real confidence.
"There is a strong business case for mobile wallets, for both MNOs and for banks, and Accenture is well positioned to facilitate conversation between both parties to establish and deliver new high performing business models based around new mobile wallet services."
The demand for mobile wallets is starting to accelerate as a natural result of the deep penetration of mobile phones into communities around the world. The mobile wallet is a fully functional and secure account which the consumer can use for convenient and secure payments from the mobile phone.
Combined with a payment card, the mobile wallet becomes a powerful purchasing account and person to person payment tool, that fits well into banked and previously unbanked peoples lives, particularly in developing countries.
A major driver for adoption and fast roll-out of mobile wallet services is international money remittances, where significant international money flows can be delivered from, and to, mobile wallets at much reduced rates, with the MNO's taking a fee.
Targeting remitting communities, an MNOs can capture and lock-in a well defined population, with marketing campaigns supported by community word of mouth, and a real, repeating incentive to use the service.
With about 700 MNOs around the world and in excess of 2-billion mobile users, many of whom have a real need for access to financial services, this is a powerful convergence of business opportunity and consumer need.