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"Going Mobile. Local executive carves niche as national expert on fast-growing banking-industry technology trend" - Scott Olson, Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ)

"Brandon McGee, the industry's unofficial ambassador for mobile banking" 

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Western Union and Mobile Transfers

Today there was an article by Paul Taylor on the MSNBC website titled "Western Union to Transfer Money by Cell."

The key take away is that Western Union will launch a mobile money transfer service in the second quarter of 2008. The article further explains that, "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."

Initially I began to think, "it will be a real challenge for Western Union to make the leap in to the mobile arena." However, the reality is that they already have the infrastructure in place and according to the article, "processed some 17 per cent of the world's remittance volume in 2006."

You'll notice that there was no mention of a financial institution, but the operators will still be forced to revenue share with Western Union.

This will be an interesting one to keep an eye on. Fortunately, the operators involved (MTN, Orange, Orascom, Smart, Telenor and VimpelCom) do not include any of the "Big 5" from the U.S.

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