Category Archives: Mobile Money Transfers

Mobile Money Transfer By World First

By Mohammed Waseem

We have heard and discussed about foreign exchange companies getting into the money transfer business; there are a lot of them in the market, each trying to outperform the other by offering exceptional services. Each of them try to attract customers and offer services comparable to those offered by banks, but at a much lesser fee.

We had learnt about a money transfer service offered by World First last week; let us now discuss about the Android and iOS solution offered by them to transfer money on the go. We had learnt that they provide better rates and charge lower fees, with the mobile app, customers can get all those services right in their hands.

World FirstThe app is available on Google Playstore and on iTunes. At present, only individual customers are fully supported, but corporates can still use the app for few features. It may be available for the latter very soon, as the company is working on it. Users can easily and quickly send money using a debit card, any time from their smartphone or tablet, it takes as less as 30 seconds to complete a transfer.

Payments tracker helps the senders track their transfers and know when the recipient has received it. They can also check live rates and initiate a transfer accordingly, in order to ensure best rates and more money for the recipient. In addition, the app has an inbuilt currency converter that helps the users know the value of the recipient’s currency and send money in local currency accordingly.

Users also use this app to make transfers between their own accounts. The services offered through this app are similar to that offered online on World First’s website, but for the fact that transfers can be done anywhere and at any time, the app is just great. It is also on par with other money transfer apps. The android app can be downloaded from here.

Mobile Money Transfer in The UAE With RAKBANK

By Mohammed Waseem

Money transfer at the touch of a button is a new trend in the money transfer space. In different places in the world, mobile solutions have been introduced to make this true, to enable senders to transfer money on the go from anywhere at any time, just by touching a button on their smartphone or tablet. Mobile apps are made available for different platforms to increase adaptability and to increase the customer base.

National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK), a UAE based bank has introduced an excellent mobile app for UAE mobile phone users that promises easy money transfer on the go. The bank promises to make life more convenient by allowing users to make instant money transfers. The service is available in the bank’s present mobile app and not as a standalone app.

RAKBANKThe feature is called MobileCash and it allows UAE residents to make instant money transfer to anyone in the United Arab Emirates, at any time and from anywhere. Of course, senders need to be customers of the bank in order to be able to use the service.

No fee is chargeable for sending money using MobileCash and the service is ideal for sending smaller amounts, such as in case of sharing expenses, paying back a friend and so on. The sender needs to provide the mobile number of the recipient and their name in order to send money. The recipient has to visit any RAKBANK ATM and enter the code received by SMS and the amount being received, in order to withdraw the cash.

The code is valid for 24 hours, within which the money has to be withdrawn, failing to do which would result in the money being credited back to the sender. The app is a great introduction and similar to many such solutions available in other countries. With this feature introduced, the customers of RAKBANK have one more reason to remain loyal to them.

Send Money to Remote Places in Bangladesh

By Mohammed Waseem

Bangladesh is the country which has the highest density of population. Most of the people there live in rural areas and only 15% of the citizens of the country have access to financial services. Sending and receiving money is something unheard of for many. Introduction of innovative, instant money transfer service is a good idea and has a huge potential in this market.

bKash, a joint venture between US based company, Money in Motion and Bangladesh based BRAC Bank offers a mobile wallet and allows users to send money to each other in Bangladesh. It functions as a subsidiary of BRAC Bank. bKash was introduced to address the need to make financial services available to everyone in Bangladesh regardless of the remoteness of their location.

bKash70% of the Bangladeshi population lives in rural areas and only 15% have a formal connection with a banking system. It is also reported that over 68% of Bangladeshis have mobile phones. To make these mobile phones more than just devices to talk on, this service was introduced.

bKash works with the existing mobile networks, currently including Robi, Grameenphone, Banglalink and Airtel. Money can be sent to any bKash user within Bangladesh in seconds by only entering a few details on any mobile phone, not necessarily a smartphone. Recipients can cash out the money at various places including a wide agent network across Bangladesh.

To send money, users need to dial *247# and choose ‘Send Money’. Recipient’s bKash wallet number has to be provided along with the amount, before entering the reference message and the PIN and confirming the transfer.

The service is available across Bangladesh and is fast, secure, affordable and convenient to use. Users can also receive money from abroad from their family members working in foreign countries. The service can be used by any Bangladeshi who is above 18 years in age and has a valid identity proof including the National ID, Driving License or Passport. Opening an account is free, but cash out may be charged nominally.

Send Money to Anyone, Anywhere with Mobino

By Mohammed Waseem

Swiss payment solution provider Mobino offers this person to person money transfer service that is aimed to be targeted at everyone; yes, all the citizens of the world, as they claim. They offer solutions for individuals, merchants and central banks. Their products are integrated with the existing banking infrastructure of a country. In countries where banking services are unavailable or are inaccessible by many, they offer prepaid accounts.

The smartphone app is available on Android and iOS devices and can be downloaded from the app market to experience the new payment solution. Individuals can use the app to pay a merchant for purchases or send money to another Mobino user. The process is very easy, they just have to select the payment type (merchant or person), enter their credentials and send the payment by entering the recipient’s phone number. The last step is protected by a secret code.

MobinoAccount balance can be checked and tracked using the app interface in order to avoid over spending. With this service, Mobino claims to enable mobile payments for 5 billion people. The service will also be available to non-smartphone users in order to cover the market and target countries where smartphone penetration is low. However, it has not been rolled out yet.

Mobino offers solutions for central banks to regulate money and offers an infrastructure to manage the circulation of electronic money. With this, the banks can offer Mobino accounts to all the citizens of the country; so each of them will have an account linked to their mobile number. They promise low operating costs and territory coverage to handle user registrations and cash transfers. This solution can be used to pay salaries to employees, purchase goods and services and transfer money.

There is no charge for using the app, but merchants are charged 1% of the amount as the fee and central banks may have a charged involved as well. For international transfers, currency conversions are charged at a market rate, depending on the currency pairs. The money is stored in an aggregate account with PostFinance, a Swiss financial institution that holds more than CHF 100 billion in deposits and customer assets.

Send, Share and Borrow Money in Germany with Lendstar

By Mohammed Waseem

As inflation is going high rapidly in most parts of the world, new financial products are in need to help us save money and share the expenses. Many such products are being introduced in different countries. Germany has this product called Lendstar EasyPay, which allows users to send money to each other and share the expenses or lend money.

Lendstar EasyPay is a service which enables convenient, quick and safe transfer of money to friends and family members. A current account has to be connected to a Lendstar account to use this service. Money transfer is done using the app. They are positioning themselves as the easy way to make a bank transfer, which is more convenient, safer and faster. In other words, they compare themselves with banks when it comes to money transfer.

LendstarTo send money, users have to download the app from Google Play or iTunes and install it on their devices, select ‘Wire Transfer’ as the payment method (without Lendstar EasyPay support) or register for Lendstar EasyPay by completing the registration for it. Once registered, users can begin using the app by connecting their current account to their Lendstar account. Most banks are supported for connecting the current accounts with the app; however, around 25 banks in Germany are not supported, including Commerzbank, Credit Europe Bank, RaboDirect, Barclaycard and HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt.

At present, only a current account with a German bank can be connected to Lendstar, which means that people from a few other supported countries can use PayPal to send money. However, even the bank in Germany should be capable of handling SEPA transfers. Users can choose to use Lendstar EasyPay or wire transfer without Lendstar EasyPay, at once; both options don’t work together.

Right now, the service is free of cost, but a charge maybe applicable once the product becomes established. However, if users use PayPal, they will charge a transaction fee which is generally 2%+ €0.30 There are four things the users can do; they can borrow money from friends, collect for pooled-expenses, prepay money to be collected later or split a bill.

Lendstar also offers an e-wallet and a credit card that can be used worldwide for shopping or withdrawing from ATMs. However, they have not been launched yet, but maybe available in a few weeks as per their website.

Users can register using their email or their Facebook account. The app can be downloaded from Google Play or iTunes.

Mobile Wallet Provider, Isis to Change its Name

By Mohammed Waseem

Mobile Wallet provider Isis has been inevitably forced to change their name since the acronym “ISIS” has become synonymous to the terrorist group from Syria. They are working on re-branding and haven’t released a name yet.

“However coincidental, we have no interest in sharing a name with a group whose name has become synonymous with violence and our hearts go out to those who are suffering” CNET.com reported the Isis Mobile CEO, Michael Abbott saying. So, the name which took years to develop will unfortunately require a change; the team is actively working on looking for a new name. The Isis mobile wallet service is jointly run by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.

Isis MobileThe service was launched in November 2013 in the US and is available nationwide. They took a long time for joint venture teaming, trials, etc. after which they had come up with a name. Now, if they don’t change the name, it will surely affect their brand due to obvious reasons. Even though they are totally different, the fact that it is synonymous with ISIS would make the people choose a different service; this is why the name change is vital.

Isis Mobile allows users to pay for purchases by adding participating credit cards from American Express, Chase or Wells Fargo or by setting up an American Express Serve account. Money can be added to this account with a US bank account, a credit card or a debit card. This means that if the user does not hold one of the three supported credit cards, they can use any other debit or credit card by setting up an American Express Serve account.

The app also holds offers from participating merchants, exclusively available to Isis users. Users can pay at over 200000 locations across the US, where contactless payment is accepted. They just have to wave the phone over a screen to make the payment. The app is available on Android and iOS.

After so much hard work choosing the name, it will obviously be difficult to change it, but if they don’t, they may fail to become established.

Send Mobile Top Up Internationally From UK With Lebara

By Mohammed Waseem

Lebara, a UK based telecommunications company enables users to send money internationally as mobile phone top up credit. Senders can send top up to prepaid users in over 80 countries. They have partnered with over 230 mobile network operators for this purpose. Airtime can be sent using a credit card or a debit card.

This service is an add-on to their other services that include instant money transfer through the agent network of MoneyGram and prepaid card transfers.

LydiaSenders can check the cost of their transfer here and can send airtime from the results screen or from here. They have also provided the list of supported countries and networks for the ease of the sender. All top ups are sent instantly, if the recipient’s number is connected with Lebara. They charge a nominal fee for every transfer. For instance, I checked their fee for sending INR 100 to a mobile number in India. They charge £1 for it, while the exchange rate is INR 102.34 for £1. So the fee is merely INR 2.34, which is just over 2% of the amount.

This works like the online mobile top up providers available locally in many countries. They partner with local operators and provide top up service to the users. The difference here is that the service is international and not all operators in every supported country may be available.

International online top up is ideal for those people who have left their families in their home countries and want to support them by freeing them from the need to top up their phones. The payment gateway is secure and money is transferred instantly, provided the network is supported by Lebara. They also offer cheap international calls and SIM cards for the UK.

Send and Receive Money Using a Mobile Number with Paym

By Mohammed Waseem

The Payments Council of UK has launched a payment service called Paym – pronounced Pay Em, which enables bank customers to send and receive money using a mobile number. This service was announced a few weeks before launch on 29th April this year. Since announcement, it received over 400000 registrations; The Telegraph reports. The service has been adopted initially by nine banks and building societies including Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, Halifax and HSBC. According to The Telegraph, other banks and building societies have committed to join Paym later in 2014 and in 2015.

Customers can use the Paym service to send up to £250 a day without the requirement of a sort code or account number. The service works through a mobile app and sending money requires a smartphone app, which is the bank’s mobile banking app, that works on smartphones. The service has been integrated with the banks’ existing mobile banking apps. However, non-smartphone users can register to receive money, but can’t send it. According to The Week, Payment Council expects over 1 billion transactions through Paym, by 2018.

PayMParticipating banks offered incentives for using the service, in the form of discounts and rewards. For example, Santander is offering it’s current account holders £1 for registering their numbers, £1 for the first payment and £1 for the first receipt of payment; provided all these transactions happen before 31st of May, 2014. The service is simple and easy to use because users won’t have to ask for account numbers and sort codes, if the recipient has registered to receive payments on Paym; and the requestor of payment won’t have to give out the account number or sort code.

All the users have to do is register their mobile number against their account, by contacting their respective banks. The following link has registration instructions specific to each participating bank. Once registration is done, the mobile number will function like an account number.

In order to send money, the user has to register their mobile number and the current account number to send and receive money into, download or update the bank’s / building society’s mobile banking app, select the recipient’s mobile number from the contact list or enter the number manually, enter the amount and confirm the name of the recipient in order to initiate the transaction. Once confirmed, the funds will appear in the recipient’s account.

With every advance in payment technology, there comes a fraud risk. Most people are insecure about this service and fear loss of money or suspicious activities in their accounts. However, Payment Council has assured that the service is secure and that the users will be using their existing password-protected mobile banking apps so the same security levels will apply.

Transfer Money On The Go With The TransferWise App

By Mohammed Waseem

UK based money transfer company, TransferWise has launched a mobile app for Android which enables users to transfer money right from their smartphones to anywhere in the world within minutes. Started in 2011, they have been doing pretty well offering good exchange rates and low fees.

They use real currency exchange rates and are among the fastest and the cheapest ways to send money abroad. They claim that their fees are 10 times lower than what banks charge. They charge £1 for all transfers of amounts lesser than £200 and 0.5% of the amount for all transfers of higher amounts. USD transfers are charged at $15 for amounts up to $1500 and 1% of the amount for amounts between $1500 and $5000. For anything above that, the charge is 0.7% of the amount.

TransferWiseThey compete with banks for money transfer, but what about money transfers companies? Well, as far as fees are concerned, they are better than many money transfer services. They are also better in exchange rates because money transfer companies, apart from the fee they charge, make money from exchange rates as well; they provide a rate lower than the market, keeping the difference for themselves. Unlike this, TransferWise offers real time market rates for the transfers.

Having said all this, their concept may not work well everywhere due to the way they operate. Their service may work well between countries which transfer roughly equal amounts to each other and may have lesser significance and appeal for pairs of countries where the amounts transferred between each other don’t match. I have discussed more about this here.

The mobile app is available for Android and iOS and is free to download. Alternatively, senders can use their online service on their website.

Make Your Phone Your Wallet With Google Wallet

By Mohammed Waseem

We have heard about electronic wallets and also about few well known wallets in operation. But have we heard about Google Wallet? It is a product from Google which enables users to send money and make payments. It allows them to store money, as well as credit card and debit card information.

Google Wallet is a mobile payment system developed by Google, which allows users to store cards and redeem sales promotions on their mobile phones. Users can shop online, send money and even shop in stores with the wallet. The sales promotions and loyalty points from shopping can be redeemed at checkout while shopping with Google Wallet. It also supports international transfers and the higher limit per transaction in all cases is $10,000 which is quite good.

Google WalletContactless payment is also supported by the app and can be used in stores where contactless payment is available. The service is called ‘Tap and Pay’ which enables payment to be made without any effort, from the preferred payment method preselected. Wallet balance can be spent and withdrawn (at ATMs) using Google Wallet Card as well, which works like a debit card. Payments can be made by swiping cards at MasterCard locations.

Money can be sent to anyone in the US with an email address. To send money, a user needs to login to Gmail and compose an email addressed to the recipient and then select ‘Attach money’ from the email options. Transfers are free when money is being sent from the wallet balance. However, debit card and credit card transfers are charged at 2.9% per transaction (minimum $0.30). Money can be received for free and spent instantly after it has been received into the wallet balance. Instant notifications are also available, both to senders and receivers.

Online shopping can also be done using the wallet and payment can be made on mobile apps and sites in as few as two clicks. All the user has to do is select the ‘Buy with Google’ button. Android phones support automatic sign in to Google, which ensures speedy processing. Purchases can be tracked in one place with the Google Wallet app.

Google Wallet is the most widely used wallet due to the fact that almost everyone has a Google Account and all services offered by Google can be accessed from one single account.