Mastercard targets Asia-Pacific MNOs with data, payment services

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Spotting an opportunity to help mobile network operators in the Asia Pacific region extend payments through emerging technology, Mastercard has rolled out a package of technology services to encourage product development.

Mastercard has bundled various services together for MNOs in the Asia-Pacific region, including its data analytics and insights along with access to the Masterpass digital wallet and the company’s suite of products supporting direct carrier billing and QR code-based payments, according to a Tuesday release.

“MNOs are evolving to be both tech companies and financial providers,” said Benjamin Gilbey, Mastercard’s senior vice president of digital payments and labs for Asia Pacific, in the press release.

Gilbey pointed to recent Mastercard collaborations with local MNOs running the gamut from mobile money solutions to contactless payments.

Among the examples: Vietnam’s Military Bank worked with Mastercard to enable local MNO Viettel Telecom to extend physical and virtual prepaid cards to 3 million Vietnamese, and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom and Mastercard collaborated to enable contactless payments for the MNO’s digital Hami Wallet. Mastercard also worked with the Red Cross in Indonesia to distribute emergency aid funds to citizens via Indonesian MNO Indosat Ooredoo, the release noted.

“Mastercard sees great promise in partnering MNOs to widen their pool of services…especially in Asia Pacific where many emerging markets are still largely underserved and unbanked while consumers in developed markets are demanding real-time access to quick and convenient payment experiences,” Gilbey added in the release.

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