Visa ices Indian mobile finance project

Visa has shut down its mobile money joint venture with Monitise in India after failing to win over support from mobile network operators, according to a report in the Times of India.

The unit, dubbed Movida, was launched in February 2012, with the support of HDFC Bank.
Despite the subsequent signing of ICICI, the card scheme was reliant on access to the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) channel operated by the country’s wireless networks.

It was envisaged the bank customers using the service would be able to pay bills, top up pre-paid airtime and buy tickets from their mobile phones.

Citing unidentified sources, The Times of India says that Visa has finally plugged the on the project and that Naushad Contractor, head of the 50:50 JV, has quit.

“The telecom regulator and the concerned ministries were in favour of letting Visa use the channel of telcos,” one source told the paper.

“But telcos refused to share their bandwidth and network though they had grudgingly given access to the state-backed National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).”