Digital payments company Skrill is launching an online payments platform to drive digital inclusion in emerging markets (EMs).
The company said that by partnering with Skrill, mobile network operators enable consumers to engage with global online electronic commerce (e-commerce), thereby increasing average revenue per user (ARPU). For global online brands, Skrill will deliver access to hundreds of millions of currently unreachable new consumers in EMs.
Skrill named the South African-based multinational mobile telecommunications company MTN as the first operator to roll out the service, enabling the 18.4m active users of MTN’s mobile wallet to make payments to merchants, digital gaming sites and social media. The service will launch in Ivory Coast and Rwanda, followed by roll out across MTN’s Africa-wide estate.
“Today, there are hundreds of millions of consumers who want to be a part of the digital revolution, but simply do not have the means to pay,” said Nilesh Pandya, senior vice president (SVP) of emerging markets at Skrill.
“Our partnership with MTN enables its 18.4m mobile wallet customers to enjoy the benefits of digitisation that those in developed markets take for granted, and provides an impetus for MTN’s remaining 200m mobile subscribers to embrace mobile payments.
Pieter Verkade, MTN group chief commercial officer, said that following the Ivory Coast and Rwanda launches, the service would be extended to Benin and Uganda with other markets to follow in coming months.
SWIFT has announced that it has successfully completed the first phase of the global payments innovation (GPI) initiative pilot, clearing the way for the go-live of the service in early 2017.
Sentiment in the financial services sector deteriorated in the three months to September, as firms digested the challenges of lower interest rates and the uncertainty caused by the vote to leave the European Union (EU), according to the latest CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey.
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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