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 $300bn 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.
Brilliant idea, see how it will work:
Under the scheme, mobile operators will connect to Western Union’s existing global money transfer system, which processed some 17 per cent of the world’s remittance volume in 2006.
Once connected to the Western Union service, mobile operators will be able to use their own “mobile wallet”’ software to enable person-to-person mobile money transfers over Western Union’s cross-border remittance network.
Very interesting news indeed!, I love it. But what do global banks do to cater for this? Between this and the hawala, they are missing out on the micro payments industry.
Mind you, this will have another very big impact on counter terrorism and will make it easier for the terrorists to transfer monies.