Two companies have partnered to serve the rapidly expanding mobile personal finance and remittance markets in Africa and Asia.
HomeSend, a joint venture business-to-business payment services company created by MasterCard, eServGlobal and BICS; and Azimo, a London-based online transfer provider, have partnered to create a new mobile wallet to start service in 10 countries in Africa and Asia. The new service aims to take a piece of the ever-increasingremittance volume sent by immigrants in Europe to their home countries. The companies cited a World Bank estimate placing the global remittance market at $586 billion in size.
Azimo customers will be able to transfer funds through their mobile phone using HomeSend's network. Those who want to send funds will need only the recipient's mobile phone number, rather than a bank account number.
Mobile banking and mobile payments have been more popular in Africa and Asia due to the lower infrastructure threshold required, allowing millions of underbanked people to make financial transactions on cheap mobile phones. These transfers can also be made much more quickly than typical bank transfers, which can take days to clear when done internationally.
"We've seen an increased desire for people to be able to safely send funds via mobile money accounts," said Stephen Doyle, HomeSend's chief executive, in a July 21 press release. "This form of money transfer has gained particular popularity due to its convenience, security, competitive pricing and near-instant delivery times."
The service will start by connecting Azimo customers in 20 European countries with those in the Philippines, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal, Armenia, Burkina Faso, Fiji, Ghana and Somaliland.