Thursday, December 20, 2012

mVISA... now official and UOB

VISA is the world's largest and best known e-payment service provider. But its service has been centering around plastic cards, both debit and credit cards. 

No longer the case.

VISA, on Tuesday, December 10th, 2012, made a formal announcement about the launch of mVISA, its mobile banking solution. Also it stated that it will be launched with Bank of Kigali and UOB. This announcement was made in a soft tone as part of VISA's press release on extending its Charter of Collaboration with the Rwandan government for the next three years. VISA plans to make a further announcement about mVISA at Barcelona mobile banking conference. 

The following is the quote.

Deploying Mobile Solutions To Reach The Under-Served 

Visa has launched a new mobile service designed to meet basic banking needs of Rwanda’s unbanked and underserved population. The service, mVISA, overcomes lack of access to physical bank branches and works across different financial institutions and mobile networks. The offering comes with optional outsourced processing services based on technology from Fundamo, a South African company acquired by Visa in 2011. mVisa is being launched with Bank of Kigali and Urwego Opportunity Bank.

For the full press release, here is the link.

UOB is doing the FUT (Friends and Family User Test) in a live environment and we expect to take over the platform for our own use soon. Agents are being signed up and transactions are being made. Staff training continues and call center training is also gearing up. Marketing materials have been designed and radio campaign will begin in January. Slowly but surely we are making progress. We plan to continue our FUT in December and the commercial launch is expected in January 2013.

UOB is using mVISA platform, but mVISA is not the only function that UOB's mobile banking product, called mHose, has. mHose means "mobile everywhere." mHose is competitive against other mobile banking solutions based on its interoperability. An interoperable mobile phone enabled agent banking solution is the first of its kind in the world. Moreover, even within mVISA ecosystem, mHose is competitive based on its additional features, such as interest on the balance and free life insurance provided on the basis of the savings balance.

To be part of this launch, UOB has also received the "Principal Member" status, although somewhat restricted, from VISA. UOB is the first MFI in the word, which has received this status from VISA. We are honored.

We are excited about this relationship with VISA and the opportunity that mVISA and mHose will bring to Rwandans. - Jeffrey 

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