Western Union And GSMA To Create New Global Mobile Money Transfer Service
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The GSM Association (GSMA), a global trade association representing over 700 GSM mobile phone operators, and The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a global leader in money-transfer services, today announced an agreement to facilitate the development of cross-border mobile money transfer services.
Western Union and the GSMA are developing a commercial and technical framework that mobile operators can use to deploy services that enable consumers to send and receive low-denomination, high frequency money transfers using their mobile phones. The first commercial services that make use of the framework are anticipated to be rolled out beginning in the second quarter of 2008.
The framework forms a key element of both Western Union’s mobile strategy and the GSMA’s Mobile Money Transfer program which aims to use the reach and ease of mobile money transfer services to expand the mobile financial services market and stimulate social and economic development. Mobile money transfer services will make it simple, quick and affordable for more people to send small amounts of money through a conventional and regulated system. Both Western Union and the GSMA believe there is an opportunity to create and grow a large new market for low denomination transfers.
“Mobile networks now cover more than 80 percent of the world’s population and 3 billion people* have a mobile phone, creating an unprecedented opportunity to extend the benefits of financial services to the majority of the world’s families for the first time.” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA. “Mobile money transfers are a key driver in the development of a potentially vast market for financial services delivered via the mobile phone.”
“Western Union has a long-tradition of innovation,” said Western Union President and CEO Christina Gold. “Our focus on the mobile money transfer space is an important step in expanding the range of Western Union’s global services to a new category of consumers. Our brand, extensive network, and compliance capabilities, combined with the GSMA members’ market reach, uniquely positions Western Union in the mobile money transfer marketplace.”
The Western Union mobile service will connect operators to Western Union’s existing global money transfer system, which processed approximately 17 percent of the world’s remittance volume in 2006. Once connected to the Western Union service, operators will be able to use their own ?mobile wallet’ software to enable person-to-person mobile money transfers over Western Union’s cross-border remittance network. The Mobile Money Transfer service will enable consumers to transfer money to or from mobile wallets and will offer a global network of Western Union Agent locations for cash-to-mobile and mobile-to-cash transactions.
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