Online remittance provider Xoom has followed up the quick start to its mobile payment services with local partnerships to allow the companys money transfer service to work across multiple channels.
The company hopes to pair its mobile technology with a wider distribution network to further its competitive position against larger transfer providers such as MoneyGram and Western Union. Xoom is partnering with Bayad Center, a Philippines-based bill payment company, to provide money transfer services across 200 locations in that country. Xoom is also partnering with BDO, the largest bank in the Philippines, to offer cash pickup at more than 700 BDO locations.
"Your mother in the Philippines may say she needs you to send money right away, so you pop into the mobile app and send the money. By the time you send the money, she gets an SMS message saying the money is available for pickup at the local Bayad Center," says Julian King, Xoom senior vice president of marketing and corporate development. "People can pick up money at the same location where they pay water and other utility bills."
Xoom offers mobile services via a partnership with Usablenet which has powered Xooms mobile website since 2011 and Xooms own native apps for Android and iOS, which were released earlier this year.
The mix of mobile services is growing quickly. Almost a third of the total number of transactions Xoom processed for the fiscal year that ended on Oct. 31 have been via mobile devices , up from 18% during fiscal year 2012. And $813 million of Xooms gross sending volume for fiscal 2013 period was sent via mobile, a growth of 205% over fiscal 2012.
The mobile apps, combined with the distribution network, are designed to reduce wait times for cash on the receiving end, King says. "We have improved the experience in store. Nobody wants their mom to wait in line," he says.
The expansion of brick-and-mortar locations melds well with the mobile apps, King adds.
"With the new technology, she can get an SMS message with a tracking number so she is not in a situation where she doesnt know exactly when the money is there. She will know when and at which BDO or Bayad location," he says.
Over the past year, Usablenet has made improvements to its user interfaces to make the mobile websites easier to use, says Carin van Vuuren, chief marketing officer at Usablenet, whose clients include Allianz and AIG. "We have focused on speed of the transactions," she says, noting Usablenets platform optimizes the design of the interface to fit the users browser, which makes it easier to navigate and read.
In addition to mobile, Xoom is also using POWR, its real-time access produce, to compete with larger transfer providers, which are also upping their game in mobile.
MoneyGram, which provides mobile access via its Mobile Companion app, is allying with PayPal and Fiserv's Popmoney person-to-person payments service to drive its growth.
Western Union also offers a mobile app, and has extended its application programming interface to partners in an effort to expand its remittance business.