25 September 2012

Pioneering work in mobile banking in growth markets Hannes Van Rensburg awarded MEF’s Outstanding Contribution Award at the 2012 Meffys

Last week’s Meffys awards once again brought together a mix of the mobile industry’s top industry executives and media for a gala dinner at London’s Park Lane Hotel. The annual event marks a year of mobile innovation and success from companies across the mobile ecosystem and with winners representing all five continents.

A key highlight of the Meffys is the Outstanding Contribution Award which honours an industry pioneer and visionary who has had a seminal impact on mobile content and commerce. This year’s winner reflects MEF’s expanded focus to support growth and innovation within mobile across developed and growth markets recognising Hannes Van Rensburg, CEO of mobile banking pioneers Fundamo.

Van Rensburg joins a prestigious roll call of pioneers who have been recognised by the MEF Global Board, often unsung heroes and visionaries who have helped shape the mobile content and commerce industry, under-pinning its advances with the new technology and business models.

Van Rensburg’s achievements in mobile banking cannot be underestimated. In 1999, he founded Fundamo, developing a secure mobile architecture, the principals of which are still used as the backbone for mobile banking systems today.

This innovation was a game-changer and in 2002, Fundamo saw its first significant deployment, partnering with Celpay and six major banks to launch the world’s first mobile banking system in Zambia. The service offered a secure, convenient and instantaneous method to transfer money via the mobile device that removed the risks associated with cash and cheque payments, ushering in a new era that has revolutionised the way financial services reach the unbanked and establishing mobile as a critical instrument of financial inclusion and convenience as we know it today.

Today, Fundamo powers mobile payments in Africa, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India and beyond accounting for 20% of the 100 million mobile banking subscribers in developing economies, creating financial inclusion where it is most needed.

Fundamo was acquired by Visa in June 2011 ($110M), accelerating the next generation of mobile financial services - VisaNet. With Fundamo, Visa has created a bank-grade mobile money platform that has the capability to connect existing mobile money services with Visa’s global payment network.

Andrew Bud, MEF Global Chair said: “The Meffys Outstanding Contribution Award acknowledges those individuals that have made the mobile industry what it is today and Hannes is truly a worthy winner of this year’s award. From the seed of the idea to its mass-adoption throughout the developing world,his vision and commitment to m-banking has had a profound social and economic impact and the MEF Global Board is delighted to acknowledge his contribution to the mobile content and commerce industry.”

Here's what Hannes had to say on receiving the award...

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