Telef贸nica and MasterCard launch Wanda to bring mobile payments to Latin America’s unbanked masses

Telef贸nica and MasterCard launch Wanda to bring mobile payments to Latin America’s unbanked masses ...

Telef贸nica鈥榮聽and聽MasterCard鈥榮聽latest joint venture now has a name: Wanda.

If you wonder what kind of fish it is, we already knew that the purpose of this partnership was to develop mobile financial solutions in Latin America.

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What we have now learned is that Wanda will be the consumer brand that will operate in the 12 Latin American countries in which聽Telef贸nica鈥檚聽Movistar聽is present 鈥 and where it has聽87 million clients.

Mobile payments may be an emerging global trend thanks to their convenience, but it is even more interesting in Latin America, where a large portion of the population is still unbanked. This means that mobile wallets could have a huge appeal, even beyond people who have a bank account.

鈥淚 am convinced that Wanda is headed toward becoming the leading force behind mobile payments in the region, driving economic growth and promoting financial inclusion,鈥 said聽Richard Hartzell,聽MasterCard鈥檚 president for the Latin America and Caribbean region.

In practical terms, Telef贸nica and MasterCard聽anticipate that Wanda will focus on developing a mobile payment service, with the tagline 鈥榊our mobile money鈥 (鈥楾u dinero m贸vil鈥).

Interoperable, it will be linked聽to a mobile wallet or prepaid account that will allow for money transfers, mobile credit reload, bill payment and retail purchases, among other services.

The execution will be in the hands of a company called聽Mobile Payment Solutions (MPS), which has a global agreement with Movistar. However, Wanda will also have its own team, based in Miami, Florida.

It will be led by聽Sergio Regueros, who has worked聽at Telef贸nica聽in senior positions for 7 years, and who will manage a staff of Telef贸nica and MasterCard alumni. This comes as a confirmation of Wanda鈥檚 importance for Telef贸nica鈥檚 global financial services strategy, which is now handled by聽its newly created聽business unit Telef贸nica聽Digital.

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