Remittance specialist Western Union has extended its partnership with State Bank of India, India’s largest bank, to offer money transfers via mobile phones.
State Bank of India’s (SBI) 4 million online customers will be able to use the mobile service to route remittances sent from Western Union agent locations into their bank accounts. The service will be available in early 2011.
In July, Western Union announced it would offer account-based money transfer services to SBI customers, allowing them to pull remittances into their bank accounts via the internet or ATMs.
India is the world’s largest remittance market, with $52 billion transferred into the country in 2009, while SBI is the country’s biggest bank, with 141 million customers.
“India is a key market for Western Union,” said Anil Kapur, Western Union’s senior vice president, South and Southeast Asia.
“Western Union has more than 61,000 Agent locations in India. As we continue to expand our network, this collaboration with SBI realises our commitment to provide our consumers with the greater convenience of accessing money sent by their families and loved ones from overseas.”
The mobile money transfer service is also up-and-running in the Philippines through Smart Communications, Malaysia with Maxis, South Africa with Absa and Kenya through Safaricom.