Category Archives: New Money Transfer Services

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.

Money Transfer From UK to Nigeria with TransferBee

By Mohammed Waseem

Mobile social networking app, Eskimi has over 13 million users worldwide. They have apps for smartphones as well as feature phones, while their focus is on the latter customer base. They have significant position in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Eskimi partners with significant players in other segments of the industry to provide services to their customers. Other companies piggyback on Eskimi’s existing customer base to launch new services in order to get greater adoption rate and usage. They recently partnered with iROKO to launch Eskimi Music service.

Money transfer from UK to NigeriaSimilarly, they have partnered with UK-based TransferBee for money transfers from UK to Nigeria. With a customer base of over 7 million in Nigeria, this service is expected to be successful. They have reported that each day, over 2000 mobile money customers join their service, which has provided them a huge platform for more deals, more partnerships with money transfer services from other countries. They also use their platform well for marketing purposes.

Money transferred via TransferBee is delivered to mobile wallets in Nigeria. The sender has to enter the amount to be transferred, which cannot exceed 850 GBP, enter the mobile number of the recipient, and then choose the method of payment, which should be ‘bank account’ in this case. After the transfer is initiated, the money is delivered to the recipient within the next 24 hours.

The interesting part of this service is that the recipient need not be preregistered for a mobile wallet in Nigeria; a mobile wallet is automatically created for the recipient, for transfer of the funds. This money can either be used from the wallets for making payments or can be cashed out at any of the thousands of agents across Nigeria.

For using this service, the user must be over 18 years of age and must be a resident of the European Union and all transfers are initiated from UK bank accounts. The user is also expected to provide identification documents before using this service.

The price for each transfer is fixed at 4.5 GBP and TransferBee claims that this is the cheapest price in the market. When I checked Western Union, they charged 12.50 GBP for transferring 850 GBP to Nigeria and the exchange rate was 257.47 NGN per GBP compared to 270 NGN offered by TransferBee. Of course, for amounts lesser than 100 GBP, their transfer fee is 2.90 GBP, which is lesser than what is charged by TransferBee. MoneyGram charges 4.9 GBP for transferring 100 GBP and 25.99 GBP for transferring 850 GBP, with an exchange rate of 258.73 NGN per GBP.

They are already gaining popularity and many people are switching to this service due to the low cost and high exchange rate. Both TransferBee as well as Eskimi have great partnership opportunities for money transfers in different parts of the world.

Interesting Facts about Mobile Money Transfers

By Renee D. for SafeCashTransfer.com

The number of people using mobile devices to handle financial business is staggering. Looking at checking account balances, moving money from savings to checking, and completing money transfers on a local, national, or international level have all become quite common. Thanks to technological advancements, almost anything is possible with a mobile device and good service provider.

With this being a fast growing trend, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide a few interesting facts that people may not be aware of. After reading this, anyone who has not yet moved to the next level of handling financial issues via phone might reconsider this as a viable option. Without doubt, the benefits of using a phone for transfers are quite impressive. These benefits include convenience, privacy, ease to use, fast service, and affordability.

Understanding the Basics

Mobile money transfers.
Mobile money transfers.

Cell phones have become such an important part of life that almost everyone owns at least one. According to the International Telecommunications Union, more than 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions exist but even more shocking is that this number is expected to increase significantly over the next five to ten years. Although communication is the primary reason people use mobile phones, technology has made it possible to accomplish many things never before thought possible.

Next to communication, mobile money transfers and remittances are also highly valued. Rather than process a payment through a bank or credit union, transfers can be made to an eCommerce merchant almost anywhere in the world with a credit or debit card, cell phone, and reputable transfer services company.

If wanted, money transfers could also be used to pay creditors, book travel arrangements, and much more. In addition to money being transferred for business purposes, this is a great service for individuals, who need to send money to family members or friends. Along with sending money, transfer services also make it possible for money to be received. Without questions, this already important service has a bright future.

Interesting Facts

Because this is an ever-changing financial service and due to ongoing advancements in mobile device technology, new information will always be available to share. However, we wanted to provide some interesting facts pertaining to mobile money transfers as they relate today.

o Although this type of service provides people with a convenient way to send money, it has also been proven beneficial to both financial and communication sectors in a variety of ways. For instances, money transfers completed using a cell phone along with “branchless banking” services help decrease the cost of remittances, increase savings potential, and generate an entirely new revenue stream for financial institutions but also telecommunication companies.

o Social and cultural practices play a key role in profitability potential associated with money transfers via cell phone

o Of all foreign countries, Kenya has achieved the greatest success, having secured over seven million subscribers since the rollout of Safaricom in 2007.

o In most cases, the offer of money transfer services via phone is intended to retain existing customers rather than attract new ones. Because no bank account is required for this particular service, the goal of financial institutions is to promote additional financial services to current customers. Companies through which mobile money transfers are completed hope to keep customers who use this and other financial services opposed to losing them to the competition.

o The most recent world financial crisis made officials aware that regulations were critical for protecting consumers but that there was also the need to be flexible enough for innovation and technology to continue pushing forward

o Although efficiency is a primary concern of companies through which money transfers are processed, privacy and security remain top concerns. Because of this, significant money and time have been invested into developing and implementing technology to prevent both cybercrime and money laundering risks.

o Even though there are fees associated with transferring money, these are significantly lower than fees associated with other payment methods

o Amazon and eBay account for the majority of purchases made using a cell phone for payment

o One specific area that experts predict will experience some of the fastest growth over the next several years is travel. Some people have cut back on travel due to fear of terroristic acts but this industry has started to see tremendous growth.

o By the end of 2012, approximately 215 million mobile device users will spend some $175 billion worldwide, more than a 60% increase over numbers from the prior year. However, within the next five years, these numbers are expected to climb to 448 million payment users and $617 billion, respectively.

o The somewhat low NFC transactions will not see growth for several years and SMS will remain the driving force behind mobile money transfers in developing countries. However, for North American and European countries, most money transfers will be made through Mobile Web.

o Digital type merchandise is purchased most often using credit and debit cards for mobile money transfers

Two Options for Online Money Transfers

You no longer have to go to a money transfer office to schedule money transfers.  You can send money to friends and family from the comfort of your home with online money transfer services.

Many of the traditional money transfer services now offer the option of making a transfer over the phone or online at their website.  Other companies have been started in recent years that exist solely as online services.  Here are two of them to consider.

Western Union

Western union safe cash transfer
Western Union

Western Union has been doing regular electronic money transfers for years and has now expanded into online service via the internet.  You have several options when using their online service for payment.  If you need the money to arrive quickly, you can pay with a debit or credit card.  If it is not an emergency, you can use your bank account to transfer money.

You create an online profile with Western Union that you can go back to anytime you need to send money.  Then you choose your options based on what you need.  The receiver can get their money several ways:

  • In their bank account
  • At a Western Union agent near their location
  • Delivered to their home or office
  • In their mobile wallet

If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your bank information with Western Union, they also provide WU Pay.  With this option, you can set up a payment in your Western Union account and they will send a bill.  Then you go to your bank account’s online bill pay and pay the bill like you would any other.

With all of these options, you receive email confirmation to know that the money has been sent.

Xoom

Xoom is a newer money transfer company founded in 2001 and located in San Francisco.  They handle all transfers online and send money to the following countries:

  • The Philippines
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • India
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • South Africa

You must sign up on their website before you can send money.  Once you create a profile, you will enter the recipient’s information, including their name and country, how much you want to send, and how you want them to receive the money.  You have three options on this: bank deposit, pick up in person, or delivery to their home.  The latter two options may not be available in all countries.

You will also need to know the recipient’s address and bank information (if depositing into their account) and contact phone number.  You will then enter your payment information where you have the option of paying from your bank account or with a credit card.  You will have a final chance to review the transaction before submitting.

It’s much easier to send money today with online money transfer services.  You have multiple options, which allow you to select the most affordable choice with the best features.  These are two of the best known companies, one that has expanded their services and one that only provides online services.

New online money transfer service to Rwanda

MTN Rwanda and MFS Africa today announced the launch of an online money transfer service that enables MTN Mobile Money customers to receive international remittances directly on their mobile phones.

MTN is a global communications company and cellular provider, focused on the Africa and the Middle East.

MFS Africa (Mobile Financial Services Africa)  connects money transfer operators, remittance hubs and banks to mobile wallet schemes across Africa. They also run web-based money transfer services on a white label basis.

MTNMMO international money transfer service

The website for the new online money transfer service is MTNMMO.COM.

Rwanda has large populations living overseas. Millions are in other African nations, and many more are in Europe and the United States. In fact, the Rwandan government even has a ministry (the Diaspora General Directorate) dedicated to serving the needs of the Rwandan diaspora.

Naturally, these millions of Rwandan emigrants need an easy way to send money home to their families in Rwanda.

With this new service, senders from outside Rwanda can now register on the website MTNMMO.COM and send funds from their debit card or bank transfer via the internet to Rwanda by simply entering a beneficiary’s mobile phone number. Funds are delivered immediately to the beneficiary’s Mobile Money account in Rwanda.

Mobile Money has already been offering this money transfer service within Rwanda itself. Now the service has been extended to senders overseas.

“Making the connection to MTNMMO.COM to enable international remittances together with MFS Africa was high priority for us to better serve our customers, understanding their need to use their Mobile Money accounts to receive money from abroad,” said Albert Kinuma, head of MTN Business. “We will continue to add new services to MTN Mobile Money, and grow our agent network, now standing at over 700 agents across Rwanda. With MFS Africa as a partner, we look forward to introducing additional products to Mobile Money in the near future.”

Auke Algera, the General Manager East Africa at MFS Africa said MTNMMO.COM is the first product being launched in Rwanda by the company. “The service extends the benefits of Mobile Money to the Rwandan Diaspora,” he explained. “We established ourselves in Rwanda because we are committed to deploying a range of innovative financial products for mobile money providers in the region.”

New Online Money Transfer Service to the Philippines: Trans-Fast

Trans-Fast money transfer
Trans-Fast money transfer

A money transfer company called Trans-Fast, founded in 1988 and headquartered in New York City, is inaugurating their new service to the Philippines by giving away an iPad 2 every week for a limited time. Customers can win by simply making a money transfer to the Philippines using a coupon code available on the TransFast.com website. All remittances online are automatically entered into the weekly drawing.

In a press release, Therese Gamboa, Director of Business Development, said, “We are unbelievably excited to offer the Filipino community the ability to send money online to their friends and family back home. The combination of our value, service, and convenience makes our service the most economical way to send money to the Philippines.”

Trans-Fasts’s new remittance service allows customers to send money online directly to any bank account in the Philippines and to over 10,000 cash pick up locations throughout the country. Trans-Fast also provides home cash delivery within 24 hours to selected cities, as well as a cash card that can be credited in real time.

Trans-Fast says that their money transfer service stands out by providing Filipinos with the best exchange rate for online money transfers to the Philippines, and a dedicated 24×7 customer support line. Trans-Fast’s mission is to be the most secure, fast, affordable and convenient way of sending money to the Philippines, anytime of the day or night.

Trans-Fast representatives states that they would soon be providing their customers the ability to send money online to many more countries.

Will contactless payment systems replace cash?

Contactless payments
Will you soon be able to pay for products by waving your phone at a reader?

People hate carrying cash nowadays, and one of eight people believes that cash will become obsolete in the future, according to Barclaycard and Barclays. No one likes having a ton of spare change, or having a wallet stuffed with one dollar bills. And people feel uncomfortable and insecure when carrying large denomination bills.

According to the study, £23 is the average amount of money that can be found in a purse or wallet. Also according tot he study, many people hate carrying loose change, and the majority (57 per cent) of respondents said they refuse to carry around one and two penny coins. One fifth said they avoid carrying cash entirely.

Dan Wass, head of current accounts and contactless at Barclays, commented: “Although we are far from becoming a ‘cashless society’, it’s clear from our research that cash is no longer king.”

Credit cards are less popular these days after the credit crunch of recent years. People are also sick of the various predatory fees charged by credit card companies.

Debit cards continue to be a popular wait to pay for retail products.

Instant money transfers or so-called “contactless payments” in which a person swipes a card or device, and money is transferred instantly, could be the wave of the future.

Contactless payment systems include credit cards and debit cards, key fobs, smartcards and any other devices which use RFID for making secure payments. The embedded chip and antenna enable buyers to wave their card or fob past a reader at the point of sale. Some suppliers claim that transactions can be twice as fast as conventional cash, credit, or debit card purchases. Because no signature or PIN entry is typically required for contactless purchases under US $25 in the US and under £15 in the UK, research indicates that consumers are likely to spend more money due to the ease of the transaction. MasterCard Canada says it has seen “about 25 percent” higher spending by users of its PayPass-brand RFID credit cards.

However, research indicates that some people still refrain from making contactless payments due to fears about security and a lack of understanding about how the technology works.

Methods are being developed to protect people’s security when using contactless payments. For example, although a number of payments can be made merely by touching a device to a shop’s outlet, only a certain number of transactions can be made before a user is required to enter their pin.

Walmart MoneyCenters and the New Kiosks

Walmart MoneyCenter
Walmart MoneyCenter

Plenty of businesses hate and fear Walmart, that giant corporation that outsells and out-prices everyone else. But did you know that banks are increasingly feeling nervous about Walmart as well?

The reason is Walmart’s MoneyCenter offices, which offer a range of financial products including check cashing, bill payment, wire transfers and other services. Manned by customer service agents, they are one of the most profitable areas in Wal-Mart stores, Thompson said. There are over 1,000 of these MoneyCenters in Walmarts everywhere, and they are one of the most profitable areas in the Walmart store, according to Jane Thompson, the outgoing president of Wal-Mart’s financial services unit.

In a new move, Walmart will begin this month rolling out automated versions of its MoneyCenter offices. The “MoneyCenter in a box” concept will feature ATM-like machines positioned in Wal-Mart stores that do not have full MoneyCenters, said Thompson.

Though the move might seem less ambitious than Wal-Mart’s other forays in banking, competitors should take it seriously.

“Retailers should shake in their boots, banks should shake in their boots,” said Brian Riley, a research director in the bank cards practice at TowerGroup. “Because if Wal-Mart starts linking their kiosks to doing reloadable gift cards, they have the power to move a lot of transaction money.”

Thompson would not say exactly how many express MoneyCenters will be part of the pilot program, and was reluctant to reveal locations to rivals.

“It’s going to be kind of like ‘Where’s Waldo’ — you’ll have to find them,” Thompson said during the 6th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum in New Orleans held by American Banker and the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

Keeping Costs Down

Many financial services companies have been trying to encourage self-service transactions at kiosks or ATMs in order to keep labor costs down and maximize store hours, so to speak.

“If you take a Wal-Mart shopper, if maybe they want to buy a washing machine and they want to transfer funds online without having to get to their home computer, or maybe they don’t have easy Internet access, they can do that now within a Wal-Mart,” said James Van Dyke, the president of Javelin Strategy and Research. “It makes a lot of sense for a limited segment of the population.”

Walmart has campaigned for years for cheaper banking services and even applied in 2007 to charter an actual bank, though it scrapped that application in the face of tremendous industry opposition. Today Wal-Mart is one of the top sellers of prepaid cards, through a partnership with General Electric Co.’s GE Money and Green Dot Corp.

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I admit that I’ve never tried any of Walmart’s financial services, though I have noticed that the MoneyCenter at my local Walmart is always busy. Nor have I tried the new kiosks. Maybe I’ll take a trial run, so I can write a review here.

Africa: cash transfer options increasing

Cash transfer shop in Kenya
A Zain shop in Nairobi. Kenya has been introduced to a number of online payment options making e-trade a reality. Photo/FILE

From Kenya’s Daily Nation:

By JEVANS NYABIAGE
Posted Monday, February 22 2010 at 16:46

The internet landscape is changing fast after landing of the undersea fibre optic cables’ broadband gateway, with e-commerce activities now slowly warming up.

In less than two months, Kenya has been introduced to a number of online payment options making e-trade a reality.

On Monday, local IT firm, Intrepid Data Systems Ltd unveiled a real-time online mobile money payments solution.

Selling goods to African customers

Trading as iPay, the service incorporates Safaricom’s mobile cash transfer solution, Mpesa and Zain’s Zap to enable customers buy and sell goods and services across the region via their mobile phones.

It is designed and targeted at online merchants to enable them receive payments through an alternative means other than the traditional modes or credit cards.

Information and Communications ministry PS Dr Bitange Ndemo said; “Kenya is now ripe for e-commerce and that is why we are seeing all these innovations. The challenge will be whether we have enough content.”

Mr Steve Nyumba, Intrepid managing director said, “Our major idea was to package Mpesa and Zap into an online transaction processing that would allow merchants, service providers, not-for-profit organisations and consulting firms to receive real time payments off a secure platform that serves this region and beyond.”

New web-based mobile payments system in Kenya

Last year Agosta Liko, a smart tech businessman who runs Verviant Consulting Services launched PesaPal as a web-based mobile payments system for Kenya. It is similar to iPay.

Prior to the launch of these new innovations, merchants in Kenya who wanted to sell online needed to set-up subsidiary companies outside Kenya where they could then register for merchant bank accounts and payment processing services in other countries such as the UK or US.

This meant that payments would need to be processed via international services before being remitted to Kenya, leading to higher costs and lower margins.