At Mobile World Congress yesterday , MasterCard announced its collaboration with Beam, a revolutionary mobile and electronic commerce wallet, to launch a first-of-its kind, low-cost, MasterCard mobile companion pre-paid card that will allow over 14 million mobile wallet consumers of Beam to transact at physical merchants, online and access ATMs.
The prepaid card will seamlessly synchronize with the customer’s existing Beam account. Beginning July/August 2013, these cards will be issued instantly by Beam franchisees (many of whom are educated, unemployed women) across the country.
With over 850 million mobile subscribers in India today the potential for scale and benefits to a growing community cannot be overstated. According to the latest MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index, India achieved a score of 31.5, which puts the country in the middle of the pack with regard to overall readiness for mobile payments.
“Our collaboration with MasterCard Worldwide’s pre-paid card system enables us to offer our customers a unique product that fits their lifestyle and provides access to ATMs and card-transactions at merchants, further extending the reach of our Mobile Wallet to a wide range of cashless solutions and our endeavor to make Beam an aspired brand,” said Anand Srivastava, Chairman, Beam.
It will also help Beam realize its vision to be a globally-recognized corporation and its unique digital commerce coupled with its distribution tie-up with India Post to sell Beam services at post offices will greatly enhance the reach of this new service.
In fact, the collaboration with Beam could trigger far-reaching innovations in the mobile and payments industries. One, it is a low cost pre-paid account that is linked to a mobile-based store value account. Second, while there will be one account, there will be two form factors i.e. phone and plastic. Third, it is issued instantly, linked to the mobile wallet in real time and authenticated via the mobile phone of the consumer. This service marks a significant step towards the coming together of mobile-commerce and banking entities in the payment space.