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January 25, 2010updated 27 Jul 2022 4:30pm

MoneyGram goes mobile in Philippines market

MoneyGram has staked its claim firmly in the Philippines mobile phone-based money transfer arena with the forging of an alliance with Smart Communications, the countrys largest mobile network operator (MNO). Stressing the significance of the alliance, John Hempsey, MoneyGrams executive vice-president for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, said this partnership gives MoneyGram access to more than 39 million Smart subscribers in the Philippines. In the initial phase of the mobile remittance service MoneyGram launched a pilot project in late December 2009 in a number of agent locations in San Diego, California and Hong Kong.

By EPI editorial

MoneyGram has staked its claim firmly in the Philippines’ mobile phone-based money transfer arena with the forging of an alliance with Smart Communications, the country’s largest mobile network operator (MNO).

Stressing the significance of the alliance, John Hempsey, MoneyGram’s executive vice-president for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, said this partnership gives MoneyGram access to more than 39 million Smart subscribers in the Philippines.

In the initial phase of the mobile remittance service MoneyGram launched a pilot project in late December 2009 in a number of agent locations in San Diego, California and Hong Kong.

The service enables consumers to send money from the pilot locations to any Smart Money account linked to the Smart mobile phone network in the Philippines.

In Smart, MoneyGram has a partner with significant experience in the mobile money market. Smart made its entry into the mobile payments market in December 2000 with the launch of Smart Money, a reloadable Smart Money-branded MasterCard debit card that provides the option of being accessed through a Smart mobile phone which also facilitates applications such as money transfers and bill payments.

Smart expanded on its mobile services in August 2004 with the launch of Smart Padala, the world’s first international money remittance service via mobile text messaging. Smart Padala enables Filipinos living abroad to remit cash to Smart Money account holders in the Philippines.

MoneyGram’s entry into the Philippines mobile remittance service market comes well after that of its major rival Western Union, which in August 2008 launched a service in conjunction with Filipino MNO Globe Telecom.

This service, initially made available in the US state of Hawaii, enables consumers to transfer money to Globe subscribers in the Philippines where the service is available to the 1.5 million users of Globe’s GCash mobile money service launched in October 2004.

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