Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa today announced the launch of World’s first Virtual Card.
The virtual card will operates off a wallet residing on a mobile phone in African market in association with Standard Chartered Bank and MasterCard.
The mobile technology platform and airtel’s vast consumer penetration combined with the financial structure and regulatory framework provided by Standard Chartered Bank and the global acceptance of MasterCard will ensure that consumers will be able to transact in a reliable, convenient and secure environment.
Speaking on the groundbreaking innovation, Manoj Kohli, airtel CEO (International) and Joint Managing Director, said “Today’s launch of the world’s first virtual number on a mobile card marks a big milestone in mobile commerce. The airtel 1time Shopping Card is proof that airtel will deliver innovative and relevant mobile solutions that will help consumers overcome the daily challenges in their lives. The solution will offer consumers a robust e-commerce solution that delivers security, accessibility, acceptance, ability and a global reach. Subsequent phases of the program will allow airtel subscribers to make payment across the MasterCard network.”
The global opportunity for mobile payments is large. The global unbanked population with mobile phones is expected to grow 70% over the next year to 1.7 billion people by 2012. The opportunity for mobile payments is especially significant in Africa, where there are close to 400 million mobile phone users and an unbanked population of 230 million households. By 2014, Africa is expected to see 56% mobile penetration.