Following in the steps of its larger rival Western Union, US-based money transfer specialist MoneyGram has announced its entry into the increasingly crowded mobile phone-based cash remittance market.
Partnering with MoneyGram in development of the mobile service is Affinity Global Services (AGS), a mobile payments technology solutions developer based in Dallas, Texas. Privately owned AGS was founded in 2004 and is funded by US and international venture partners.
“In developing economies, there are more people with mobile phones than traditional bank accounts,” commented MoneyGram’s president and CEO, Anthony Ryan. “We see a tremendous opportunity to better serve these consumers by delivering MoneyGram remittances in compelling new formats such as mobile technology.”
The mobile remittance service will run on AGS’ MADE Platform which, according to MoneyGram, will enable it to connect to virtually any mobile network operator. Cash distribution will be facilitated by MoneyGram’s global network of over 180,000 locations.
MoneyGram noted that discussions are underway with a mobile network operator which is expected to be the first to launch the service to consumers later this year.
Western Union’s first mobile remittance service was announced in October 2007 and in partnership with Philippine telecommunications company Globe Telecom. The first foray into commercial service was made in August 2008 with the launch of a service enabling consumers in Hawaii to transfer money to Globe subscribers in the Philippines.