The study named “Socio-economic impact of mobile financial services” also shows that economic inequality in Malaysia could be reduced by five percent and become roughly equivalent to that of Canada today. In the developing world, more than 2.5 billion adults – or approximately 72 percent of the population – are unbanked, meaning they have no access to traditional financial services like banks. At the same time, nearly 2.5 billion people in these same emerging economies have mobile phones. This means that there could be up to 2 billion mobile phone users who are currently unbanked that could be served through mobile financial services. Overall in the five countries covered in the study, mobile financial services has the potential to reduce financial exclusion by five to 20 percent through 2020 and increase GDP by up to five percent. [Read more…]
Western Union now provides services for consumers to send money directly to the mobile “wallets” of Safaricom M-PESA subscribers in Kenya from 45 countries and territories. According to the company, it’s the first service of its kind in the world.
The expansion of the service to more than 80,000 Western Union Agent locations worldwide follows the successful debut of the offering from Western Union Agent locations and the Western Union website in the U.K.
The service rides on Western Union’s worldwide network and trusted global “hub” for processing cross-border remittances. It also builds on the unprecedented success of M-PESA, a domestic mobile money transfer service in Kenya offered by Safaricom that has attracted more than 13.5 million customers since its launch in 2007.
“We are pleased to extend our service with Safaricom, and we look forward to adding additional functionality for M-PESA users in the near future,” said David Yates, Executive Vice President and President, Business Development and Innovation, Western Union.
The service will allow people to visit one of more than 80,000 Western Union Agent locations in 45 countries and territories across the globe, including the U.S., Canada, Italy and the U.K., and send funds directly to the mobile “wallets” of M-PESA’s 13.5 million subscribers. Funds are delivered generally in minutes.
The service will likely benefit thousands of Kenyans working abroad. According to the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenyans living outside their home country sent US$642 million home in 2010—up from the US$609 million sent home in 2009.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said, “Our customers are very proud of the revolutionary M-PESA service, and this partnership sees us pushing new boundaries to continue to keep Kenya at the forefront of the mobile world. Through this partnership, our customers and their friends and families will benefit from affordable, faster and more convenient international remittances, and the money is available to use straightaway for any M-PESA transaction, or can be withdrawn as cash at any of our 24,000 Safaricom agents.”
Western Union offers the Mobile Money Transfer Service in the Philippines with Smart Communications and Globe Telecom; in Malaysia with Maxis; and in Canada with EnStream. Western Union also has agreements with other mobile operators and banks to introduce the service in the future.
Source: Business Wire
U Mobile and Research In Motion (RIM) have launched a Blackberry solution for U Mobile customers in Malaysia, that brings together smartphones, software and services to allow wireless access to email and messaging, social networking, phone, organizer, web, multimedia and other mobile business and lifestyle applications.
U Mobile will initially offer the BlackBerry Bold 9780 smartphone and the BlackBerry Curve 3G smartphone to customers in Malaysia.
The BlackBerry Bold 9780 is a compact smartphone that offers a compelling blend of features, performance and design. Featuring the new BlackBerry 6 operating system, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 supports 3G networks around the world, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS for location-based applications and geo-tagging. The 5 MP camera comes with a full complement of high-end features including continuous auto focus, scene modes, image stabilization, flash and video recording. The BlackBerry Bold 9780 also includes 512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB of storage.
The BlackBerry Curve 3G smartphone features a comfortable full-QWERTY keyboard for fast, accurate typing, optical trackpad for fluid navigation, built-in GPS and Wi-Fi and dedicated media keys that allow music lovers to easily play their tunes while on the go. The BlackBerry Curve 3G also features a camera that can record video and a microSD/SDHC slot that supports up to 32 GB memory cards for media storage. Support for 3G networks makes browsing faster, streaming music smoother, and gives users the ability to talk on the phone while they browse the web or instant message with BBM (BlackBerry Messenger).
Chief Executive Officer of U Mobile Sdn Bhd, Dr Kaizad Heerjee said: “We are very pleased to have a long-term partnership with RIM to introduce the BlackBerry solution to our customers in Malaysia. BlackBerry smartphones will allow our customers to easily stay in touch with the people and information that’s important to them and access information quickly and efficiently no matter where they are through our enhanced 3G high speed network”. He added: “We also look forward to continuously unveiling new and exciting products which are focused at delivering simple, flexible and affordable plans to the market.”
Source: U Mobile