Mandates and payments roundup, December 6

HDFC partners with Vodafone in India to launch mobile banking, while Mizuho Corporate Bank implements a FircoSoft solution.

HDFC Bank launches mobile banking with Vodafone

India’s HDFC Bank has partnered with Vodafone India’s subsidiary, Vodafone m-paisaTM, to launch HDFC Bank MobileBank Account to provide banking services to the unbanked population throughout the country. Rajasthan is the first state in which this partnership has been implemented and more than 2,200 retailers in 320 villages and 54 towns are now opening HDFC Bank MobileBank accounts. Users will be able to perform cash deposits, cash withdrawals, mobile transfers and balance enquiries.

“Access to banking services is difficult in remote areas,” said Rahul Bhagat, country head of retail liabilities, marketing and direct banking channels at HDFC Bank. “Importantly, all segments of society have demonstrated they are comfortable with using mobile phones. So, with HDFC Bank MobileBank Account and Vodafone m-paisaTM, anyone can open a savings account and transact at a bank-appointed outlet convenient to them, with the same sense of trust and security as if they were in a bank branch.”

According to Bhagat, HDFC Bank has a board approved plan to bring 10 million families under financial inclusion over a five-year period and this partnership will help the bank achieve its objective.

Mizuho Corporate Bank implements solution from FircoSoft

Mizuho Corporate Bank, a subsidiary of Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group, has implemented Firco Continuity from solution provider FircoSoft. The solution provides the bank with real-time and centralised watchlist filtering for trade finance, automated clearing house (ACH) and funds transfer activity.

“With Firco Continuity, Mizuho Corporate Bank now benefits from real-time filtering of multiple transaction systems such as our money transfer system, trade finance and ACH systems as well as the ability to provide our business users with a similar workflow throughout the multiple systems," said Frank Carellini of Mizuho Corporate Bank. "The new centralised approach has significantly improved the effectiveness of our operations and will ensure ongoing protection against risk and compliance with the latest anti-terrorist financing regulations."

ANZ leaves mobile payments market in Cambodia

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has sold its Cambodia based mobile payments business arm, Wing, to Inter Logistics which owns payments company Mobile Refresh. ANZ launched Wing in the country at the beginning of 2009 and, according to the bank, is Cambodia’s most comprehensive mobile payments company. Wing offers transactions in both US dollars and Cambodian riels across six mobile network operators.

“We are proud to have established Wing as the first mobile payments service for Cambodia. It has attracted over 350,000 customers, giving them access to financial services previously unavailable,” said Mark Robinson, chief executive of South and Southeast Asia at ANZ. “As we are increasingly focusing ANZ Cambodia on the corporate and upper end retail segments, however, it makes greater sense for Wing to join with Mobile Refresh given its demonstrated track record and ongoing investment in mobile payments.”

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