Towards Greater Financial Inclusion: MasterCard, Beam Announce Alliance to Reach 14 Million New Customers

  Towards Greater Financial Inclusion: MasterCard, Beam Announce Alliance to
                        Reach 14 Million New Customers

  PR Newswire

  NEW DELHI, March 1, 2013

NEW DELHI, March 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Offers Innovative MasterCard Mobile Companion Pre-paid Cards to Underserved
Consumers in India and Also Empowers Franchisees to Provide E-Payment Services

AtMobile World Congress,MasterCard Worldwide, today announced its
collaboration withBeam, 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.

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 latestMasterCard 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.

This collaboration is another step by MasterCard towards its vision of a world
beyond cash, bringing new and innovative electronic payment solutions to a new
generation of customers, both banked and underserved. Now, consumers in India
can connect their existing mobile wallets to the world of MasterCard
acceptance and electronic payments to pay utility bills, make fund transfers,
book movie or travel tickets, and even withdraw money from ATMs as well as
Beam franchisees. 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.

"There's an increasing need for electronic payments in markets such as India,
where more than 40% of the adult population do not have access to banking
services. In 2012, we launched the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program
seeking to provide consumers living in remote areas of the world with access
to mobile money services. The launch of this revolutionary product will not
only help bring more Indians into the financial system, but also benefit
merchants especially those who currently do not have point-of-sale acceptance,
which is roughly around 6 million merchants in India," said Philip Yen, Group
Head, Emerging Payments, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard
Worldwide.

"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.

The collaboration is a win-win strategy for a host of stakeholders. Beam
customers will be able to add more functionality and utility to their current
mobile wallet offering. The MasterCard merchant community will benefit from a
higher volume of electronic payments given that a significant section of
consumers are predominantly cash-based in India. Beam franchisees will be
further empowered with their new capability of distributing mobile companion
pre-paid cards and conducting on-behalf-of electronic payment transactions for
consumers with limited and one-off electronic payment needs.

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.

Consumers can easily enjoy Beam services by registering for an account via
SMS, Beam's website, wapsite or app and transacting at anytime from anywhere.
Beam services include telecom/DTH-TV/data card recharge, utility bill
payments, rail, air and bus travel bookings, mobile/e-commerce, movie
tickets, ringtones, wallpaper, songs, games, COD/home delivery and more. The
registration is free, paperless and hassle-free - it does not require a change
in SIM card, download of software or a credit, debit or net bank card, and
works on all mobile phones.

About Beam

Beam ( www.beam.co.in ) is a revolutionary Mobile Wallet and Mobile/Ecommerce
marketplace which endeavors to enable convenience, empower economically, and
enrich the lives of our customers.

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),( www.mastercard.com ), is a technology company in the
global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments processing
network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments
and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's
products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping,
traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and
more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews , join the
discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest
news.

Primary Media Contact: Eshant Arora, eeshant@value360india.com , 91-9891255258

Secondary Media Contact: Jayati Agarwal, jayati@value360india.com ,
91-8285313314

Contact: PRN
 
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