The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is to become the first
MENA bank to launch a mobile money transfer service after
partnering with global money transfer company MoneyGram

The mobile money transfer service enables NBAD customers with an
Arrow account or an NBAD issued prepaid card to transfer money to
any account, anywhere in the world via mobile phone. Those who have
no accounts at NBAD or are not holding an NBAD-issued prepaid card
can still use the Arrow service by using Visa co-branded prepaid

“We recognise the critical role that mobile technology is
playing in the evolution of the remittance market and we are
delighted to partner with NBAD to be the first to offer
international money transfer services via mobile phone in the UAE,”
said Nigel Lee, MoneyGram’s executive vice president for Europe,
Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific.

The World Bank recently estimated remittances from the UAE to be
between $15 billion and $20 billion in 2009 with potential to
continue growing in the coming years. In addition, the UAE has one
of the highest mobile phone penetration rates in the world.

“An overwhelming majority of expatriates in the UAE remit money
to their families in their home countries. The bank wanted to bring
to the market a product that serves this large demographic,” said
John Malouf, the general manager of consumer banking at NBAD. “We
worked very methodically for more than a year with our partners to
fine-tune the Arrow service to ready it for consumers to use it to
conduct international remittances.”

The NBAD mobile money transfer service will be available in
200,000 locations across 190 countries around the globe.