Visa and Monitise Set to Transform Mobile Payments Services in India

February 22, 2012 at 2:00 AM EST

HDFC Bank, India’s 2nd largest private bank, is first to offer countrywide mobile payments service

MUMBAI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 22, 2012-- Movida, a mobile payments joint venture backed by Visa (NYSE: V) and Monitise (LSE: MONI.L), has signed an agreement with HDFC Bank, India’s second-largest private bank, to introduce a first of its kind mobile payment service. The new service allows HDFC Bank customers to pay bills, top up prepaid airtime and buy tickets from their mobile phone and is designed to operate across all mobile networks using any Visa and non-Visa branded payment account. It can be used by any mobile subscriber, anywhere and accessed by even the most basic mobile phone.

Naushad Contractor, Movida’s President and head of the Monitise and Visa joint venture in India, commented: “This is a service designed for Indians. As we rollout the service to other banks more Indians will be able to benefit from mobile payments. Wave goodbye to waiting in long queues or visiting post offices or payment machines to pay bills as you will now be able to do that right from your mobile phone. This service is going to drastically reduce the time & energy Indians waste every day waiting to pay bills.”

The new service uses menu-based USSD mobile technology making it one of the easiest services to use and the most widely available. After linking their HDFC Bank Visa or non-Visa payment card to their mobile phone number, cardholders can access the service via USSD over Movida’s secure connection. From then on it is just a matter of selecting the payment service require and making the payment. The simple menu can complete a transaction in only a few steps.

And not only is the service simple, it’s secure and backed by two of the world’s most trusted brands in electronic and mobile payments. The system encompasses various security measures to maintain account integrity, including a unique PIN number set up on the phone to access the account information. Only the user’s bank-registered phone can be connected to the service.

Contractor added: “This technology will be a game changer the way the iPhone was for mobile phones. This is a smart service for smart people and epitomizes everything Visa and Monitise stand for: it is fast, reliable, secure, and simple - and it will change the way consumers in India pay, forever.”

Rahul Bhagat, Head-Retail Liabilities, Marketing & Direct Banking Channels, HDFC Bank, said: “HDFC Bank has always been at the forefront of technology to ensure that our customers have greater choice and convenience at their disposal. The partnership with Movida is a crucial step whereby we will enable our customers to carry out multiple mobile commerce transactions from the most basic handsets.”

This service reaffirms HDFC Bank’s commitment to bring the latest service and convenience to our customers. All our customers throughout the country can now pay their bills and top up talk time with a few clicks of their mobile phones. This will save them considerable time and help them focus on more important things in life.”

As India continues the upgrade of its Internet and telecoms infrastructure to rural areas, the new mobile service finally allows millions of Indians currently excluded from enjoying the benefits of mobile and online payment services to become part of the digital age via their basic prepaid mobile phone.

The service is initially being offered to a select number of valued customers before being rolled out across the country later in the year.

USSD: Unstructured Supplementary Service Data

USSD is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider's computers. USSD can be used for prepaid callback service, mobile-money services, location-based content services, menu-based information services. USSD messages are up to 182 alphanumeric characters in length. Unlike Short Message Service (SMS) messages, USSD messages create a real-time connection that remains open and allows for a two way exchange of a sequence of data. This makes USSD more responsive than services that use SMS.

About Movida India Pvt. Ltd:

Movida India Pvt. Ltd. is a 50:50 Joint Venture between Visa (NYSE: V) and Monitise (LSE: MONI.L) that establishes mobile handsets as the core device for making electronic payments, Movida works primarily with financial institutions and mobile service operators to provide services to consumers across India and epitomizes the fundamental technologies of Visa and Monitise to deliver a fast, reliable, secure, and simple service using existing technologies and networks. Movida aims to revolutionise mobile based payment options by providing cost effective and secure solutions that are easy to implement for Movida’s clients, and are easy to use and secure for consumers. For details please visit

About Visa Inc.:

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

About Monitise

Monitise plc (LSE: MONI.L) is a technology and services company delivering mobile banking, payments and commerce networks worldwide with the proven technology and expertise to enable financial institutions and other service providers to offer a wide range of services to their customers in developed and emerging markets.

With live services in the UK, the US, India and Africa, the company is working with international partners to extend trusted and secure mobile banking, payment and commerce services in territories worldwide, including Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Monitise has strategic partnerships with Visa Inc., Visa Europe, RBS Group and FIS. Other leading partners and clients include HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, First Direct, U.S. Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Travelex, Vocalink, Vodafone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile, 3 UK, Research In Motion, Best BuyEurope, The Carphone Warehouse, First Eastern, Astra, JETCO and PCCW mobile. More information is available at

About HDFC

Promoted in 1995 by Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), India's leading housing finance company, HDFC Bank is one of India's premier banks providing a wide range of financial products and services to its 21 million customers across hundreds of Indian cities using multiple distribution channels including a pan-India network of branches, ATMs, phone banking, net banking and mobile banking.

Within a relatively short span of time, the bank has emerged as a leading player in retail banking, wholesale banking, and treasury operations, its three principal business segments.

The bank’s competitive strength clearly lies in the use of technology and the ability to deliver world-class service with rapid response time. Over the last 16 years, the bank has successfully gained market share in its target customer franchises while maintaining healthy profitability and asset quality. As of Dec 31, 2011, the Bank had a distribution network with 2,201 branches and 7,110 ATMs in 1,174 localities.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2011, the Bank’s total income was INR 86.226 billion (`8,622.6 crore) as against INR 63.578 billion (`6,357.8 crore) for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2010. Net revenues (net interest income plus other income) were INR 43.56 billion (`4,536.0 crore) for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, as against INR 39.045 billion (`3,904.5 crore) for the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Net Profit for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, was INR 14.297 billion (`1,429.7 crore), up by 31.4% over the corresponding quarter ended December 31, 2011.

The Bank’s total balance sheet size increased by 34.3% to INR 3,354.87 billion (`335,487 crore) as of December 31, 2011. Total deposits were INR 2,325.08 billion (`232,508 crore) as of December 31, 2011. Total income for the nine months ended December 31, 2011, was INR 236.500 billion (`23,650.02 crore). Leading Indian and international publications have recognized the bank for its performance and quality.


Source: Visa Inc.

Visa Inc.
Elvira Swanson, +1 415 932 2564
Visa SE Asia and India
Gary Hamilton-Walker, +65 9109 6414
Monitise Group
Gavin Haycock, +44 (0)207 9474156
Neeraj Jha
Head, Corporate Communications
Tel: 91 - 22 - 6652 1308 (D) / 6652 1000 (B)
Fax:91 - 22 - 2490 3168
Mobile: 09323620828