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mPowa at Cartes Asia in Hong Kong

Zafar Anjum | March 5, 2013
Big investments expected from Asian banks as sector looks to add value for tech savvy customers, says the mobile payment service provider

mPowa, a mobile payment service which has already signed a successful deal with First National Bank in South Africa, is now expanding into the Asia Pacific region to reach similar agreements, the company announced today.

The company will be exhibiting at Cartes Asia in Hong Kong on 27-28 March and Cartes America in Las Vegas on 23-25 April as part of its global expansion. Cartes will bring together the leading companies from card manufacturing, payment, security, identification and mobility industries. mPowa will be among those showcasing their solutions to the 3,000 delegates from the industry.

With customers in Asia among the fastest adopters to technology, the region is already well positioned to introduce innovative new solutions, the company said in a statement.

mPowa works by inserting a credit card into a compact card reader, which then communicates with a mobile device via Bluetooth, enabling merchants to accept payments on the move. This type of service will boost productivity and convenience for businesses and also help to increase takeup of smartphones created by the likes of Google, Apple and Nokia, said mPowa in its release.

Besides First National Bank, mPowa has also recently signed a deal with Portugal Telecom - the largest deal of its kind in Europe.

"We anticipate playing a significant role in the evolution of banking in the Asia Pacific region," said Dan Wagner, CEO of mPowa. "Technology is already the beating heart of the banking sector here, which is why there are now more people accessing banking services via mobile phones and the Internet than in branches or on the telephone. We will reach a stage very soon whereby services such as mobile payments will be inherent in the offering of every major bank and will no longer be seen as an add-on. The Asia Pacific region, particularly countries with fast economic growth such as China, India and Vietnam, will lead the way in this."

According to predictions from analyst Ovum, retail banks in the Asia Pacific region are the most prolific spenders on IT, with a further 5.1 percent growth predicted for this year to US$118.6 billion. The region's banks are aiming to enhance the service offered to their customers who are already quick on the uptake in terms of online banking, which is done increasingly via smartphone apps.


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