Electronic wallet services expected by mid-2012

Thursday, September 22, 2011

After launching in Guatemala earlier this month, prepaid mobile top-up platform provider Movilway expects its platform for electronic wallet services to be up and running in 3-4 months, local paper Prensa Libre reported.

Once the platform is ready, the company expects to launch services by mid-2012, Movilway CEO Jesús Sardinero was quoted as saying.

In addition to telephony operators, Movilway expects to form partnerships with two or three banks, according to Sardinero, including local bank Banco Reformador, which has 96 branches throughout the country.

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Movilway has already signed an agreement with Banco Reformador to launch in Guatemala.

"First we're changing the user's mindset, so they don't think they're only buying credit for their phones," Sardinero said.

According to the executive, in the medium term the electronic wallet could be used to pay for basic services, such as water or electricity. It may later be used to pay for transport services, or to buy a drink at a vending machine.

The electronic wallet system has been implemented in other markets such as Africa, but this tool is still new in Latin America, according to the commercial manager of software developer Byte, Homero Bosch.

But Guatemala is prepared to provide this service since 3G technology is already available in the country, he added. Now the relevant banking regulation must be checked.

"This would encourage competition between banks and telephone companies," Bosch was quoted as saying.