Ericsson and Verifone bring NFC mobile payments to developing world

Ericsson Wallet Platform
MOBILE MONEY: Ericsson and Verifone deal could benefit citizens in emerging markets

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has partnered with Verifone Mobile Money to add support for NFC and contactless payments to its mobile commerce platform, enabling its carrier customers in emerging markets to add in-store mobile payments capabilities to their mobile money services.

Verifone’s Mobile Money Retail Enablement software suite will be integrated with Ericsson Wallet Platform, with the aim of introducing NFC, mobile wallets, EMV and contactless payments to unbanked citizens who increasingly rely on mobile phones for financial transactions.

Chris Jones, chief executive of Verifone Mobile Money, says: “This partnership will enable Ericsson’s customers to realise the economic benefits of increased volumes of payment transactions, wider mobile money adoption and an improved consumer experience.

“NFC and contactless payments drive wallet adoption transactions at the merchant and cashless economies. We are excited about the partnership and look forward to a long-term relationship.”

Originally a service allowing money to be stored electronically instead of in cash and easily sent to individuals and to pay bills, mobile network operators (MNOs) in the developing world are increasingly moving towards letting customers spend their stored funds in shops without the need to first withdraw cash.

Last month, MNO Airtel Ghana announced a partnership with Verifone Mobile Money to roll out NFC-enabled POS devices to Airtel merchants, allowing more than 1.5 million registered Airtel Money users to make payments with their phone. Similar deals have taken place in Nigeria and Tonga.

Peter Heuman, head of m-commerce at Ericsson, says: “Ericsson’s m-commerce work includes a primary focus on financial inclusion efforts that bring greater mobile money flexibility to traditionally unbanked citizens, especially in emerging markets.

“Our partnership with Verifone Mobile Money represents continued advancement of these efforts, helping mobile subscribers with more choices in where and how they can shop.”

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