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.
Senders 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.
By Mohammed Waseem
Sending money to mobile phones is among the latest technologies being adopted all over the world. This usually happens in two ways and money can be transferred to any part of the world in seconds. The first way if transfer to mobile wallets and the second is transfer directly as prepaid credit. This article discusses a service which enables users to transfer money to mobile phones in over 100 countries.
The service is called ezetop, which is headquartered in Miami, Ireland and has regional offices in the USA, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Apart from sending money, the company also offers credit for cheap international calls. The services are available through ezetop website, few white label websites and a range of smartphone apps. International call facility is currently available only from the USA.
Users can instantly top-up any number in the supported countries, either online with Master Card and Visa cards or from any of the over 450,000 retail locations across 20 countries. Here is the list of countries supported. The user chooses how much to send and is informed how much the recipient receives. They charge a fee for every transfer and an additional charge for an SMS message, which is optional. Users can also add numbers to their ezetop contact list for ease.
In order to be able to send top-up, user has to register for an account and add a card to the account. Other than this, top-up can be sent from any of the supported retail locations.
Ezetop makes money from the fee they charge. The exchange rate they offer seems much better than what is prevailing in the market with any service, but that gets covered up with the fee charged.
Ezetop website is the most visited website for international money transfers as mobile top-up and credit has reached over 2.4 billion phones worldwide. With this service, mobile operators around the world reach new global customers and make huge revenues. Ezetop currently has partnered with over 213 mobile phone operators to deliver their service and looks to expand in the near future. An example of their efforts is their recent partnership with a Saudi Arabian bank, Al Rajhi Bank which would reach millions of customers across the country with over 27000 point of sales, 3300 ATMs and 500 branches. This will be a huge success as the country has over 7 million expatriates working there, with families in their home countries.