MFS – Mobile Financial Services – is the joint venture formed last year by Telefónica and MasterCard to develop mobile financial solutions in Brazil, where Telefónica operates through the Vivo ® brand. Through the development of mobile financial solutions, Telefónica and MasterCard aim the financial inclusion of the unbanked segments in Brazil, the administratively known as C/D/E segments, which account 50 million people.
MFS integrates the assets of the use of mobile phones (convenience, ease and accessibility) with those of existing electronic payment systems (safety, reliability and unsurpassed acceptance). It is also an open model to ensure interoperability between the banked and unbanked segments.
As of May 2013 MFS will be available in Brazil, allowing all Vivo mobile phone users to put credit on one’s or others’ Vivo mobile phones, transfer money and make different kinds of payments, such as paying invoices and purchases in more than 1.8 million stores, among other services. Joining the service will be free of charge and registration will be done directly from the mobile phone. MFS users won’t need to buy a smartphone or download any app to do all these things; they will just need to go to any recharge desk – Vivo retail stores, betting shops or kiosks – of the country, buy a MasterCard prepay card and put as much credit as they wish in the Vivo prepay account of their mobile phone. From that point on, MFS users can also use their mobile phone as a wallet.
Mobile payment services are growing all over the world. Most frequently, these services work as a mobile wallet that allows financial movements through a mobile phone without the need of a credit card. The mobile wallet is available at any moment, no matter where the user of the service is. Through this fast and easy service, the unbanked segments benefit the security that electronic money provides, producing a positive impact in the economic development of the country. Brazil, with 120 million unique mobile phone users has a great potential for mobile payment services.
Is MFS going to be available in all parts of Brazil?
As of May 2013 five cities of the state of Sao Paulo will enjoy MFS in an experimental phase –Guarulhos, Mogi das Cruzes, Jundiaí, Sorocaba and Osasco – and it is expected that MFS will reach national coverage in 2014.
Telefónica and MasterCard have launched similar MFS in other Latin American countries such as Argentina, Peru and Mexico among others.
With MFS, Telefónica wants to provide an easy-to-use and innovative service, responding to proximity, safety, accessibility and dynamic payment solutions for our customers in Brazil.