MasterCard Inc. says it has secured a partnership with a mobile wallet provider in India that furthers its goal of serving cash-only segments with plastic and electronic payment alternatives.
MasterCard will work with Beam, a mobile and e-commerce wallet provider, to launch a plastic MasterCard prepaid card with a mobile wallet companion, MasterCard announced last week.
The prepaid card will allow more than 14 million Beam users to initiate transactions at brick-and-mortar merchant locations, online or at ATMs, MasterCard says.
MasterCard says it views the more than 850 million mobile subscribers in India as a market potential for scale and growth. The agreement with Beam represents another step for MasterCard’s financial-inclusion initiatives for cash-only consumers.
Consumers in India can connect their existing mobile wallets to MasterCard to make electronic payments to pay utility bills, transfer funds, withdraw money from ATMs, or book movie or travel tickets, the company says.
Beginning July and August, Beam franchisees will issue the cards across the country.
"There's an increasing need for electronic payments in markets such as India, where more than 40% of the adult population do not have access to banking services,” Philip Yen, MasterCard’s group head, emerging payments for Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, states in a press release.
The launch of the prepaid product will bring more consumers into the financial system, as well as benefit merchants who currently do not have point-of-sale acceptance, Yen says.