Inside the LIRNE.NET community, we have for some time been discussing a program of research centered on what we all mobile multiple play, a convergence of services around the transactional capabilities of the mobile phone and its unparallelled connectivity.
Our friend and colleague Abu Saeed Khan is reporting on a major development on these lines from the GSM Congress in Barcelona:
Spearheaded by a special group of 19 mobile operators with networks in over 100 countries and representing over 600 million customers, GSMA believes the programme could double the number of recipients of international remittances to more than 1.5 billion, while helping to quadruple the size of the international remittances market to more than one trillion dollars by 2012.
To combine the strengths of the mobile and financial ecosystems, mobile operators are partnering with banks at a local or regional level, while GSMA is setting up a pilot project with MasterCard Worldwide, a global payments leader whose cards and network provide international authorisation, clearing and settlement.
GSMA and MasterCard, which has a 25,000 member-bank network, plan to pilot a global hub that will link together national markets and the local payment systems run by mobile operators in partnership with those local banks.
The hub will enable migrant workers to transfer money and notify their families via mobile phone.
“The creation of a global hub will enable the mobile networks, which now cover more than 80 percent of the world’s population, to offer the world’s burgeoning migrant population a convenient way to securely and cost-effectively transfer money to their families back in their home countries,” said Rob Conway, CEO of GSMA.
“The programme will resonate with governments because it makes the international payment market more transparent, encourages financial inclusion, reduces crime and boosts the flow of hard currency into their countries,” added Conway.