For mobile payments to achieve its full potential,
interoperability between mobile network operators (MNO) is vital, a
reality recognised in a significant alliance between Visa and
NeuStar announced at the GSM Association’s Mobile (GSMA) Money
Summit held in late-June.
US-headquarted NeuStar is, in essence, the glue that connects MNO’s
by providing a neutral clearinghouse that facilitates
communications across many of the world’s major mobile networks. In
North America all telecommunications service providers are legally
required to use NeuStar’s clearinghouse.
NeuStar also operates the GSMA’s PathFinder service which
facilitates internet voice and data interoperability by translating
telephone numbers to internet protocol-based addresses.
This service was launched by the global MNO association in
Commenting on the alliance between Visa and NeuStar, Visa’s head of
product Elizabeth Buse highlighted that it provides Visa with a
single point of connection to MNOs globally.
“This initiative has the potential to accelerate delivery of mobile
financial services in both emerging and developed economies,” said
Services envisaged by Visa and NeuStar include the transfer of
money from Visa accounts to a mobile user’s account, enabling the
recipient to use funds deposited for wireless top-up of prepaid
airtime minutes or bill payment for wireless services. The
recipient could also access those funds through a Visa prepaid card
or withdrawal at an ATM.
NeuStar and Visa noted that they are now “committing resources” to
develop commercially viable programmes to support new mobile