Mobile phones are about to become the simplest and quickest way to transfer money across borders, under a deal announced yesterday by Western Union and GSM Association, the main mobile phone operators’ body. The agreement could have a big impact on global cross-border remittances, worth an estimated $500bn a year, and provide a springboard for mobile carriers and Western Union to offer other mobile banking services using “mobile wallet” technology. Cross-border money transfers valued at up to $100 in countries such as India, the Philippines, Mexico and China – which have large volumes of remittances from migrant workers – will be an early priority of the deal. Thirty-five mobile operators with 800m customers in more than 100 countries have signed up to take part in the GSMA Mobile Money Transfer pilot scheme led by Sunil Mittal, managing director of Bharti Airtel. Other participants include MTN, Orange, Orascom, Smart, Telenor and VimpelCom.
Cell phones double as electronic wallets in RP By Oliver Teves Associated Press Last updated 10:42am (Mla time) 09/30/2007 Philippine Daily Inquirer SAN MIGUEL, Philippines–It’s Thursday, so 18-year-old Dennis Tiangco is off to a bank to collect his weekly allowance, zapped by his mother–who’s working in Hong Kong–to his electronic wallet: his cell phone. Sauntering into a branch of GM Bank in the town of San Miguel, Dennis fills out a form, sends a text message via his phone to a bank line dedicated to the service. In a matter of seconds, the transaction is approved and the teller gives him P2,500 (US$54), minus a 1-percent fee. He doesn’t need a bank account to retrieve the money. More than 5.
Cell phones double as electronic wallets – Yahoo! News Mobile banking services, which are also catching on in Kenya and South Africa, enable people who don’t have bank accounts to transfer money easily, quickly and safely. It’s spreading in the developing world because mobile phones are much more common than bank accounts. The system is particularly useful for the 8 million Filipinos — 10 percent of the country’s citizens — who work overseas and send money home, like Dennis’ mother, Anna Tiangco. Previously, she sent money via a bank wire transfer, which costs $2.