Smart e-Money, the wholly owned digital financial services subsidiary of Smart, received an issuing and acquiring license from Visa.
Smart e-Money is the first non-financial institution in Southeast Asia to receive such a license, which allows them to issue Visa-branded prepaid cards, acquire merchant transactions, and offer Visa Direct products and services for domestic and international money transfers, the company said.
?This milestone collaboration with Visa augurs well with PLDT?s aggressive road map in pushing for a robust digital ecosystem. Having the biggest consumer base in the Philippines, we are in a very strategic position to roll out various innovative financial payments products and services; and a number of them will be out this year,? said Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT and Smart chairman.
PLDT, the parent company of Smart, invested in the Berlin-based Rocket Internet last year on top of a joint venture partnership to deploy mobile commerce in selected growth and emerging markets with PayMaya as the vehicle.
?Visa is proud to support Smart e-Money as we work together to expand access to financial services across the Philippines. With a large customer base and a strong presence across the country, we are pleased to partner with Smart to bring the benefits of electronic payments to even more Filipinos,? said Stuart Tomlinson, Visa country manager for Philippines and Guam.
Pangilinan said ?digital is the new normal and mobile becomes the core of our everyday lives. PLDT, through Smart and Smart e-Money, is the trailblazer in this digital arena.?
The first product to be launched in partnership with Visa is Charge2Phone or C2P which is the country?s first contactless payment sticker using near-field communication (NFC).
This product was launched in partnership with Citi, the country?s biggest foreign bank. C2P also offers added convenience to its customers who can use their 11-digit mobile number for online purchases at the checkout page instead of the usual 16-digit credit card number.