MPOWER Ventures reported today it surpassed the year two milestone for its 2008 commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and is on track to achieve its goal to deliver financial services to 5 million underserved consumers in five years. Progress toward that commitment is the subject of a short video playing at the 2010 Annual Meeting during the Human Potential Plenary Session on Wednesday, September 22 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Since making the commitment in 2008, MPOWER Ventures and its portfolio companies Rev Worldwide and MPOWER Mobile have established a global presence and are powering integrated prepaid card and mobile payments programs in markets around the world, including Australia, India, Kosovo, Mexico, Romania and the United States.
In year three of the commitment, the partners plan to accelerate their progress by addressing the lack of affordable options available to merchants in underserved markets for accepting cash alternatives at the point of sale.
'Around the world, millions of merchants conduct billions in sales almost exclusively in cash because it has been the only convenient, universally accepted payment form of payment they can afford to accept,' said Roy Sosa, co-founder of MPOWER Ventures. 'If we're serious about broadening access to financial services in underserved markets, that has to change. Solving this challenge will be our priority for accelerating progress toward our commitment.'
The partners have developed a mobile card reader named Rev COIN. The COIN device, powered by MPOWER Mobile's YAP Accept, enables cash-only merchants in young and mature markets alike to convert basic and advanced mobile handset models into an affordable point-of-sale terminal equipped to accept and process card-based payments through existing payment networks. By offering an affordable global solution that works with technology most of the world's merchants already have - the mobile phone - COIN lowers barriers to payment network participation for cash-only merchants in markets that have fallen behind.
'The cost of traditional POS terminals isn't just a barrier to the growth of businesses that remain bound to cash; it also hinders the expansion of card acceptance networks, slows consumer adoption of new ways to pay and ultimately delays the arrival of mainstream financial services,' said Sosa. 'We are committed to making it as affordable for merchants to accept cash alternatives as it is to accept cash.'
To learn more about how MPOWER Ventures is delivering financial services to underserved consumers and its progress to date, visit http://live.clintonglobalinitiative.org to watch the progress video on Wednesday, September 22 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Based in Austin, Texas, MPOWER Ventures is a socially committed venture capital firm dedicated to identifying and investing in early-stage businesses that create products and services for underserved populations. Grounded by the beliefs that private investment can solve persistent social problems and market-based solutions can realize change on the broadest scale, MPOWER Ventures is building a portfolio of companies whose products and services will foster empowerment, health and prosperity in underserved markets. MPOWER Ventures currently focuses its investment portfolio in financial services with investments in international payments, mobile payments, retail financial services and asset-building and investment products. Learn more at www.mpowerventures.com.
About MPOWER Mobile
MPOWER Mobile is an international mobile payments company dedicated to empowering underserved consumers. By harnessing the mobile phone's ubiquity and universal functionality like SMS, MPOWER Mobile delivers financial services through the mobile handset - including the ability to send money, accept payments and make purchases - to consumers anywhere in the world. Based in Austin, Texas, MPOWER Mobile is backed by MPOWER Ventures. Learn more at www.mpowermobile.com.
About Rev Worldwide
Dedicated to driving widespread commercial availability of financial services in underserved markets around the world, Rev Worldwide helps partners rapidly and effectively access hard-to-reach markets and enables underserved consumers to make affordable, safe and convenient financial transactions. Rev's full range of integrated mobile and prepaid card solutions - including Rev-branded, co-branded and affinity products - are issued by banks, powered by its multi-language, multi-currency processing platform and delivered by partners and directly to consumers through its growing retail network. Rev is headquartered in Austin, Texas and operates in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific and is a member of the MPOWER Ventures investment portfolio. Learn more at www.revworldwide.com.