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Deal on for mobile money transfer

Western Union, the world's largest money transfer company has signed a deal with with 35 global GSM-based mobile operators including Bharati Airtel for mobile money transfer services. The global telecom players include MTN, Orange, Orascom, Smart, Telenor

Apnaloan.com Research Bureau

24 Oct 2007

Western Union, the world's largest money transfer company has signed a deal with with 35 global GSM-based mobile operators including Bharati Airtel for mobile money transfer services. The global telecom players include MTN, Orange, Orascom, Smart, Telenor, Vimplecom with Bharati Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal heading the group.  

With this facility, consumers in India can get money from their associates abroad without holding any bank account. So if a Vimplecom customer in Russia wants to make a cash payment of 1000 roubles to a Bharati subscriber in India, it can be transfered through the Western Union network. The Bharati subscriber will get an sms informing the transaction and s/he can collect the money from a Bharti outlet after producing a proof of his identity and paying a small service charge. The mobile phone is practically turned into a credit card along with a host of other services also availbale with it. For instance, you get navigation for location-based services like accessing maps, information and directions.          

The telecom operators, as per the agreement, can connect to the Western Union's global money transfer network which extends to 200 countries and connects about 312,000 agent locations in these countries. Its network will also help operators offer customers the facility to send and receive low-denomination money transfers frequently. After getting connected to the network the telecom operator will have to use their own 'mobile wallesoftware platform that will turn the mobile phone into a credit card.

Bharti is expected to roll-out commercial services on the Western Union platform from the Q2 of 2008. Earlier this year, RBI had given the nod to Bharti and SBI to launch the project in the country as not-for-profit companies under Section 25 of the Companies Act. Mobile money transfer, when introduced, is set to revolutionise the industry as it holds a slew of advantages when compared to the traditional method. Millions of migrant workers within India and expatriate workers of Indian origin globally will gain from the service.