A mobile wallet pilot project is being launched in Colombia by a collaboration between state-run Banco Agrario, mobile operator Telefonica Colombia, and mobility firm Comviva.
The project will focus on leveraging the ubiquity of mobile phones in Colombia to extend digital financial services to agricultural producers and the rural population. In the pilot phase, customers will be able to open a mobile account, deposit money into it, withdraw cash from the account, transfer money to other users, pay utility bills and recharge their prepaid mobile connection, among other transactions.
To increase the service reach to rural and remote areas, Banco Agrario will use its extensive network of bank tellers and branchless banking agents to offer last mile services such as deposit and withdrawal. The electronic money service AGROMOVIL will be available through mobile app as well as USSD, ensuring that all users - whether they have smartphone or feature phone - are able to access the service. The pilot project will run for six months and will be executed in some towns with around 1,000 customers using the service.
The collaboration will see all entities combining their expertise to make this project a success. Banco Agrario will be managing the electronic money service by establishing the distribution network for last mile services, training the tellers and agents, acquiring customers and marketing the service. Telefonica Colombia will be the telecommunications provider and will bring its expertise in the field of telecommunications and in mobile technology and will facilitate access to the service through channels like USSD. Comviva is the technology partner for the project and will deploy its world-class electronic money platform mobiquity Money to enable instant and secure transactions.
Luis Enrique Dussán López, CEO of Banco Agrario said: “According to World Bank Findex, 54% of adults in Colombia do not have a financial account. This figure rises to 59% in rural areas. This project will help to bank financially excluded people by providing simple and cost-effective mobile financial services to agricultural producers, the rural population, and people living in remote areas. Our vision is to meet the financial needs of the underserved segments and create a more financially resilient society.”
Luis Martin, Director de B2B de Telefonica Colombia added: “Through this project we are extending access to virtual financial services in rural areas through the mobile telephony. Electronic money solutions will help to accelerate financial inclusion in the country and deliver greater value to consumers.”
Manoranjan Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer at Comviva, said: “We have adopted a broad strategy for fostering the financial ecosystem in Colombia. We will provide an easy-to-use, convenient and secure mobile wallet for consumers ensuring greater adoption, as well as an open platform that facilitates rapid and seamless integration with billers, merchants and other financial systems, paving the way for extensive use of mobile payments.”