bKash teams up with Fundamo on mobile banking
Newly formed mobile financial services provider, bKash, has recently selected a Visa company, Fundamo, to power its services in Bangladesh.
Launched in July this year, bKash is a joint venture between BRAC Bank and US-based Money in Motion that aims to serve 83 percent of the population living on less than $2 a day with “convenient, affordable and reliable” mobile financial services, according to a statement.
Through the deal, Fundamo will facilitate the delivery of mobile financial services to the un-banked and under-banked mobile subscribers in Bangladesh. bKash will enable a large portion of the population to get their first access to basic and secure financial services.
Fundamo is a wholly owned subsidiary of Visa Inc. and a leading platform provider of mobile financial services for mobile network operators and financial institutions.
Fundamo's Enterprise Mobile Financial Services platform has been deployed in more than 40 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, offering mobile financial services to the un-banked and under-banked mobile subscribers including person-to-person payments, bill payments, wireless airtime top-up, and ticketing.
Headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, the company's vision is for a truly connected financial services ecosystem that supports the ubiquity of mobile devices.
“While only 9 percent of Bangladeshis are banked, more than 44 percent of the population owns a mobile phone that makes Bangladesh an ideal market for the introduction of mobile financial services. With the backing of leading players in the field, bKash has the skill and expertise to deliver a service that the majority of Bangladeshis desperately need,” said Kamal Quadir, chief executive officer of bKash.
“To cope with the accelerated growth we're expecting, bKash requires a highly scalable mobile money platform. Built on open application programming interfaces and deployed in 40 countries around the world, Visa's Fundamo platform underpinning the service will not only support growth it will evolve with the needs of individuals, businesses and communities,” Quadir added.
Hannes van Rensburg, CEO of Fundamo, said: “bKash has assembled a 'dream-team' of mobile financial services partners tasked with extending financial inclusion in one of the most promising developing countries in the world.”
“We look forward to support bKash in building a valuable, sustainable and inclusive mobile financial services market in Bangladesh.”
In February, mobile operator Robi Axiata signed a partner agreement with bKash to provide access to its service for Robi subscribers and extend the distribution of the service.
bKash's other distribution partner is BRAC, a development organisation, with a large geographic footprint and more than 80 lakh microfinance group members in Bangladesh, enabling bKash to offer services where they are most needed.
In November 2010, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced its support for bKash with a $1 crore grant for technical assistance through its partner ShoreBank International.