Marking its fifth anniversary,
UK-based mobile payments services provider Mi-Pay has put out a
strong positive message on the mobile channel’s future, emphasising
that, while global recession has left its mark on many industries,
it has also acted as a catalyst for mobile-based financial service
“As banks, service providers and mobile
operators seek to overcome economic challenges, drive more
efficient infrastructure and create stickier services for larger
groups of customers, many are now turning to mobile payments,
remittances and top-up to boost reach, fuel demand and renew
customer loyalty,” said CEO Norman Frankel.
“As a result we predict that the next five
years will see mobile money shift from being a niche service to a
viable mass market proposition with widespread global
Following its entry into the mobile payments
market in September 2004, Mi-Pay began by integrating mobile
functionality with payments and other financial services. Shortly
after, Mi-Pay began offering mobile phone top-up switching
services, gaining as its first international client, European
mobile network operator (MNO) KPN Telfort.
In 2005 Mi-Pay initiated a key strategic move
with formation of Digital Payments, a joint venture with payment
card specialist Retail Decisions and UK payments processor Voca,
now part of VocaLink. Focused on the UK mobile phone top-up market
Digital Payments has achieved significant success garnering major
clients such as retailers Carphone Warehouse and Tesco and MNO
Building on its success Mi-Pay went on to
expand its reach to include the Middle East and Africa and today
lays claim to ranking in the world’s top 10 mobile money providers.
While domestic and international top-up remains a core part of
Mi-Pay’s business, it is also involved in mobile banking and mobile
money transfer deployments.
In Mi-Pay’s sights is a market many research
firms predict is set to see explosive growth.
However, the mobile market is not all plain
sailing, warned Frankel.
“This is a complex, technically challenging
and heavily regulated environment; fraught with difficulties for
uninitiated players seeking fast rewards,” he stressed.