Banco Agrario, Telefonica Columbia and Comviva partner for mobile wallet solution

Comviva CEO Manoranjan Mohapatra

Banco Agrario, a state-run bank focused on the rural and agricultural sector, Telefonica Colombia, one of the leading telecom operators in Colombia, and mobility solutions firm Comviva, have partnered for a mobile wallet pilot project in Colombia. The project will focus on leveraging the ubiquity of mobile phones in Colombia to extend digital financial services to agricultural producers and the rural population.

In the pilot phase, customers will be able to open a mobile account, deposit money into the account, withdraw cash from the account, transfer money to other users, pay utility bills and recharge their prepaid mobile connection.

To increase the service reach to rural and remote areas, Banco Agrario will use its extensive network of bank tellers and branchless banking agents to offer last-mile services such as deposit and withdrawal. The electronic money service, named AGROMOVIL, will be available through a mobile app as well as USSD, ensuring that all users, whether they have a smartphone or feature phone can access the service. The pilot project will run for six months and will be executed in a number of towns, with around 1,000 customers using the service.

Banco Agrario will be managing the electronic money service by establishing the distribution network for last-mile services, training the tellers and agents, acquiring customers and marketing the service. Telefonica Colombia will be the telecommunications provider, while Comviva, the technology partner for the project, will deploy its electronic money platform mobiquity Money to enable instant and secure transactions.

“According to World Bank Findex, 54 per cent of adults in Colombia do not have a financial account,” said Banco Agrario CEO, Luis Enrique Dussán López. “This figure rises to 59 per cent in rural areas. This project will help to bank the financially excluded people by providing simple and cost-effective mobile financial services to agricultural producers, rural population and people living in remote areas. Our vision is to meet the financial needs of the underserved segments and create a more financially resilient society.”

Comviva CEO Manoranjan Mohapatra added: “We are honored and excited to be part of this project. We will bring best practices from our global experience of over 60 electronic money deployments to this project. We have adopted a broad strategy for fostering financial ecosystem in Colombia.

“On one hand, we will provide an easy-to-use, convenient and secure mobile wallet for consumers ensuring greater adoption. On the other hand, we will provide an open platform that facilitates rapid and seamless integration with billers, merchants and other financial systems, paving the way for extensive use of mobile payments.”