airtel Africa, Standard Chartered Bank and MasterCard Worldwide were honored for mobile payments innovation at the 16th Annual Global Mobile Awards held during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011. The recently launched virtual card product, developed in collaboration between airtel Africa, Standard Chartered and MasterCard, received top honors as the Best Mobile Money Product or Solution.
Honored by a panel of mobile industry experts, the virtual card product was recognized as an innovative mobile payments solution that will offer consumers in Kenya, and eventually across Africa, greater participation in the financial system through mobile commerce. In collaboration between airtel Africa and Standard Chartered, the virtual card product is powered by MasterCard inControl (TM) technology and enables more people to connect to the global marketplace through their mobile phones.
Andre Beyers, airtel Africa’s chief marketing officer, and Daniel Monehin, area head, East & West Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, MasterCard Worldwide, received the award on behalf of the three companies at the Global Mobile Awards 2011 ceremony held at the Fira De Barcelona in Montjuïc, Barcelona, Spain.
The virtual card product enables airtel Africa customers in Kenya to use their mobile phone to make online purchases from MasterCard merchants around the world. The simplified online transaction works in the following way: each time an airtel customer is shopping online he or she will be able to request a single use shopping card number. airtel money services will then generate a special 16-digit number that enables the completion of the transaction. On completion of the transaction, a confirmation message will be sent to the consumer’s mobile phone. The single use feature of the virtual card product provides the consumer with a convenient and secure online shopping experience.
“We partnered with Standard Chartered and MasterCard in a joint effort to create affordable and innovative mobile services for consumers across Africa,” said Beyers. “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by our peers in the mobile industry for the virtual card product, which we hope will set a new industry standard for mobile payments.”
“We are extremely pleased that this concept has been selected for the GSMA 2011 Best Mobile Money Product or Solution Award. This global award is fitting testimony to telecom & banking companies in Africa, who are the ‘agents-of-change’ in the development of mobile finance and commerce,” said Jaydeep Gupta, Standard Chartered Bank’s regional head, Distribution & Alternate Channels for Africa, NGL, MESA & India. “We are proud of our unique partnership with airtel Africa and MasterCard. Together we will continue to deliver innovative payment solutions across our geographies.”
Said MasterCard’s Monehin, “Consumers are increasingly reliant on mobile technology at each step of their lives – from staying connected with their personal networks to making payments on-the-go. We joined hands with airtel Africa and Standard Chartered to create the virtual card product that not only enhances people’s purchasing experiences, but also creates a financially inclusive mobile platform for people in Africa. We believe that innovations like the virtual card product will help ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of mobile commerce in Africa. We are committed to improving industry collaboration and fostering innovation as well as building interoperability across closed loop systems in Africa and abroad.”