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Calpian invests $29.7 mn in Money-on-Mobile

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Calpian, Inc. (CLPI.OB), a Dallas, Texas-based US public company engaged in the electronic payments processing industry, has agreed to make its first investment in India, up to US$29.7 million in cash and stock in ‘Money-on-Mobile’, an electronic prepaid payment instrument for mobile phones by My Mobile Payments Limited (MMPL).

‘Money-on-Mobile’ (MoM) was launched for the B2B market in India in 2010, and in the year 2011 MoM received RBI’s permission to offer the semi-closed m-wallet for the consumer market nationally. In the rapidly growing mobile payments space, MoM is determined to effectively contribute to the RBI’s desire of increasing electronic financial transactions. MoM will allow the consumer to load their mobile phones with cash at their retailer touch points and consumers can use this virtual money to purchase goods and services.

MoM currently has a network of over 55,000 retailer touch points pan-India and a presence in over 200 cities. MoM offers mobile phone users the flexibility and convenience to top-up their talk time, DTH account, and pay their utility bills using their mobile phones. MoM is currently proposing to start domestic remittance services through their mobile channel.

Commenting on the investment, Harold Montgomery, Chairman and CEO of Calpian, Inc. said, “We believe MoM is well-positioned to take advantage of the promising mobile payment channel in India. Calpian’s management team has been associated with the electronic payment processing business for the last twenty-five years in the United States, and we are excited to participate in the Indian market by partnering with MoM. We look forward to working closely with the management team to achieve MoM’s vision and expansion plans.”

Shashank M. Joshi, Managing Director of Money-on-Mobile said, “We are delighted to welcome Calpian, Inc. as a new investor and a strong partner in our efforts to provide mobile payment services to every banked and unbanked mobile subscriber in India. Calpian and its management team have tremendous expertise in the electronic payment business which will help us in our growth plans and strategy. With more than 900 million mobile subscribers in India, the mobile phone can be used as an effective alternative channel for payments.”

MoM’s platform is also available on SMS and hence the consumer does not require a smartphone. MoM’s service operates independent of the consumer’s mobile operator or bank, and hence any mobile subscriber can avail themselves of its services.

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