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Wanda: a mobile wallet already available in LatinAmerica!

Do you know what Wanda is?

Wanda is the joint venture formed 2 years ago by Telefónica and MasterCard to develop mobile financial solutions in 12 countries in Latin America, where Telefónica operates through the Movistar ® brand.

Wanda is focused on integrating the advantages of the use of mobile as a convenience, ease and accessibility associated with financial solutions to safety, reliability and unsurpassed acceptance of existing electronic payment systems.

Wanda is an open model to ensure interoperability between the banked and unbanked segments.  In a few words: Wanda wishes to bring financial solutions in an easy way in LatinAmerica: your mobile is becoming money!

According to Mc Kinsey research, around 2.5 billion of the world’s adults don’t use formal banks or semiformal microfinance institutions to save or borrow money, our research finds. Nearly 2.2 billion of these unserved adults live in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Therefore, the range of opportunities that this initiative gives rise embraces aspects such as the transformation of the traditional systems of payment in segments where only cash is accepted (taxis or street peddlers among others) as well as the financial inclusion of population segments that are still unbanked, i.e. population of low income or population whose homes are located in rural areas.

Payment services through the mobile phone will be linked to a mobile wallet or prepay account that will allow, among other services, to transfer money to other Wanda customers, as shown in this video.

But you can also put credit on one’s or other’s Movistar mobile phones (more than 50% of Wanda transactions are related to this service) and pay invoices (eg. gas, electricity, water, etc.) and purchases in all kinds of shops, as shown here.

The mobile wallet will be available at any moment, no matter where the user of the service is. Through this fast and easy service, the unbanked segments will benefit the security that electronic money provides, producing a positive impact in the economic development of the country.

Wanda has been already successfully launched in Argentina (it already has 130,000 customers and it is expected to reach 200,000 by the end of the year) and will be available in Peru this month and in Mexico in January 2013.

It is also expected that Mastercard and Telefónica will offer similar services in Brazil in April 2013.

With Wanda, Telefónica, through Telefónica Digital, wants to provide an easy-to-use and innovative service, responding to proximity, safety, accessibility and dynamic payment solutions for our customers in the region.

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Lourdes Tejedor / @madrid2day

Telefónica Public Policy & Telefónica España Regulatory teams