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Telefonica and MasterCard Partner to Offer Mobile Payments in Brazil


While targeting predominantly pre-paid clients, the partnership will offer payments, transfers, purchases and other transactions

Sao Paulo, – The Telefônica Group and MasterCard International present MFS, a company that will maximize the partnership between the two companies by developing payment solutions using mobile technology.

MFS’ first product, set to launch in April 2013, will be a pre-paid account accessed via mobile phones alongside a MasterCard card, which will let consumers transfer cash to other people, make in-store purchases, refill their phones and carry out other financial transactions.

The product will mainly address the payment needs of Telefônica Vivo clients who do not have bank accounts, offering them financial inclusion. However, users who already have current accounts can also sign up for the service. Cash can be transferred onto pre-paid accounts at mobile phone refill stations, including supermarkets and newspaper stands.

The product uses USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) technology and is compatible with all GSM devices, allowing real-time interaction with users. Furthermore, transactions are completely secure as data provided while browsing, such as passwords, are not stored on the device.

Electronic payments within reach of millions in Brazil

”The new product will provide ease of use, inclusion, control and security for millions of Brazilians, backed up by the reputation and financial strength of two major companies, MasterCard and Telefônica,” said Marcos Etchegoyen, CEO of MFS Serviços de Meios de Pagamento Ltda. “The pre-paid cell phone account opens the door for millions of Brazilians who own mobile phones but have never benefitted from electronic payments or current accounts,” he added.

Similar services provided via partnerships between the operator and MasterCard are available in Argentina and Peru. Financial transactions based on USSD technology are widely used in Africa and the Philippines. Telefônica Vivo has been using this technology since October 2011 to refill mobile phones and it attracts over 7 million accesses per month.

“Telefônica|Vivo’s coverage in over 3.7 thousand Brazilian cities will be a major driver in offering mobility and the features of this service to large sections of the population,” said Antonio Carlos Valente, CEO of the Telefônica Group in Brazil. “This product fits the company’s commitment to offer solutions that improve people’s lives by reducing distances and making communications faster and more digital,” added Valente.

Gilberto Caldart, head of MasterCard Brazil and GeoSouth, said, “Mobile payments is just one of MasterCard’s commitments towards efficiently driving financial inclusion and providing millions of people who currently have no access to traditional financial channels a quick, transparent and secure way of making financial transactions.”

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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.

About the Telefônica Group

Telefônica Group is one of the world’s largest communications conglomerates, operating in 25 countries with 313.8 million lines, 286 000 employees and revenues of 62.8 billion Euros (2011). UIn Brazil, its main companies are Terra (Internet portal and provider) and Telefônica Brazil (Telefônica | Vivo), Brazil’s largest telecoms company with 91.9 million clients, 76.8 million of whom are mobile customers, with the largest market share nationwide (29.67%) according to its 3Q12 quarterly balance sheet. Telefônica arrived in Brazil in 1996, where it operates its largest global operation by number of clients with coverage in over 3.7 thousand cities, almost 3 thousand with 3G access – more than all cities served by other carriers in the country.


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