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.

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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.

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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.

2.00 avg. rating (49% score) - 1 vote

Send and Receive Money Anywhere with Payza

By Mohammed Waseem

UK based payments provider, Payza offers an e-wallet that is available and accessible in over 200 countries across the globe. Users can send and receive money and can load and withdraw it in many ways supported by the e-wallet. 21 currencies are supported, including USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, MYR, AUD, NZD and HKD among others.

With Payza, users can take the money around the world, without carrying it. They can also send and receive money from anywhere, at any time. In addition, they can pay for shopping online as well. This is so good that even if the ‘Pay with Payza” option is not available; payment can be made from the e-wallet online.

PayzaMost customers are happy with its speed of transfer between the wallet and bank account or a card. Users can load their Payza e-wallet through bank account transfer (where available), bank wire, credit card and debit card. Withdrawal can be done to a bank account, through bank wire and to the Payza Prepaid Card. Hundreds of local payment options are supported for loading and withdrawing funds from the Payza e-wallet.

Users can send money worldwide with Payza to multiple recipients. They can also send gifts of pay back a loan. In order to do this, they need the recipient’s email address, that’s it. They can also send money through a Payza authorized exchanger, including Cavirtex, EgoPay and EraChange. SimplySendBD is a new product Payza has launched for Bangladesh, that enables users in Bangladesh to receive funds from anywhere in the world. From the sender’s viewpoint, the product can be used to send money from anywhere in the world to Bangladesh. Apart from sending, users can request and receive money.

Payza Prepaid Card is available in USD and CAD and can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted. It can be used just like a debit card or for withdrawing money from an ATM. A one-time fee is applicable for ordering the card, which is $19.95. Various fees applicable are: card load fee of $1 or ATM transaction fee between $2.5 an $3, inactivity fee (for 3 months of inactivity) of $1 charged monthly, over the counter withdrawal fee of $10, POS usage fee of $0.5 and foreign exchange fee of 2.5%. At present, prepaid cards are not being issued, but may be resumed in the future.

To use Payza, users should have a free account, load their wallet. They can start sending and receiving money right after that. No monthly fee or activation fee is applicable; sending money is free, but recipients may be charged a fee starting at 2.50 % + $0.25. The fees for adding funds are: bank wire fees, prepaid card fees and credit card fees. Withdrawal fees for bank wire and prepaid card are also applicable, apart from currency conversion fee of 2.5%. Most fees may be different for each country, and can be checked here.

5.00 avg. rating (79% score) - 1 vote

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.

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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.

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Send Money With The USAA Mobile App

By Mohammed Waseem

Money transfer apps have increased in number, which has made our lives easier. Anywhere we are, we can semd money to anyone, right from our smartphones. USAA, an organization that offers financial products and services to the military community and their families. Founded in 1922, the organization has grown to serve millions of people with competitive financial products and services.

Most of the services are available to the members of the US military and their families but some financial planning and investment products are available to the public. Among these products is the online money transfer service which one can access on Android or iOS smartphones through the USAA Mobile app.

USAA MobileThe app can be used for most of the services offered by USAA including money transfer, bill payment, deposit checks, manage investments, etc. For sending money, one does not need to be a member of USAA. One needs a savings account or a checking account with the organization, which is at least 30 days old, in order to be able to transfer money from their mobile app. Money can be sent to anyone who has an email or a mobile number. Up to $1000 can be sent in one day, with a limit of three transactions daily. Through email, money can be sent to recipients in over 66 countries listed here, where PayPal is accepted. Throuhg a mobile number, it can only be sent to residents in the US.

Recipients who are USAA members receive the money instantly into their account with the organization. Non-members receive the money into their PayPal accounts. If they don’t have a PayPal account, they receive instructions from PayPal on their email or phone to create a new account and claim their funds.

The app can be downloaded from the respective app stores for Android and iOS and money can be sent immediately if one already has an account with USAA.

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Sending Money With An E-Greeting Card With Send Moola

By Mohammed Waseem

We know that PayPal has many products and solutions but did we know that third parties use their platform to offer their own solutions? Send Moola does exactly that; they present another way to send money and get paid on any Android device. The payments are done on PayPal’s platform, but the application is their own and the solution is offered by them.

Anyone can send money using their PayPal balance or a payment card, just like they do with PayPal. Money can be sent to anyone with a PayPal email address or to anyone as an attachment with e-greeting cards. Anything from paying the Pizza man, paying for flowers and paying businesses is possible with Send Moola through their widgets dedicated for each such service.

Send MoolaSending money is a 5 step process, which is also true for receiving money and for business services. The first step is to choose an image based on the occasion or upload a custom image; the second step involves selection of the service; available services are sending, receiving and accepting cash (for businesses). We are concerned with sending and raising money, so we first choose “Send Money”.

The third step is the creation of a custom widget for sending payment, entering the amount which cannot exceed $1000 per transfer and entering the sender’s and receiver’s PayPal email addresses. The next step is confirming the e-card and the amount, after which a license has to be purchased, which costs 1% plus PayPal fees for 1 year or 2% plus PayPal fees for 6 months (10 widgets/uses allowed) and 3% plus PayPal fee for only 1 widget.

For raising money, similar steps are to be followed, except that the amount need not be entered. The fee for this is $5 for 6 months (only 1 widget) and $7 for 1 year. About accepting payments, I will write elsewhere. The service is good and brings families together but it is quite expensive as it adds PayPal fees along with its own; otherwise, the service is quite interesting.

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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.

1.00 avg. rating (39% score) - 1 vote