NatWest, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group, has become the first UK bank to launch a mobile phone based international money transfer service for UK customers. The service is initially being launched for the bank's Polish Welcome Account customers via a partnership with PKO Bank Polski. But the bank says it will look to extend the service to other countries.
The service uses technology from mobile banking network Monilink, a joint venture of Monitise and VocaLink. To make a money transfer, customers simply use the NatWest Mobile Phone Banking service on their mobile phone. The transfers are free of charge if customers are transferring to an account they hold with PKO Bank Polski
Customers can sign up for the service using a secure website and the international money transfer service is automatically available, regardless of which mobile phone network they use, once the customer has completed the enrolment and security process.
Roy Vella, Group Director of Mobile at RBS, comments: “Mobile phone banking is the fastest growing banking channel in the world, and NatWest is committed to being at the forefront of this exciting phenomenon.
"Our research shows that the Polish community in the UK sends home a staggering £1 billion each year. We recognise that our customers want to move this money as cost effectively, securely and conveniently as possible, and often when they are on the move."
John Milliken, managing director of Monilink added: “The mobile phone is the ideal way to control personal transactions such as money transfers to friends and family overseas. By being the first to bring this level of control to their Polish customers, NatWest has once again demonstrated its commitment to providing customers with even more control over their money, wherever and whenever they require.”
Earlier this month Barclays launched an online remittance service that enables non-resident Indians in the UK to transfer money directly to any Barclays account anywhere in India.