Online portal Yahoo! has launched an international version of its PayDirect person-to-person payment service involving the exchange of stored value payment cards.
Yahoo! says the service will cover 182 countries worldwide and does not require the recipient to have a PayDirect account, Internet access or even a local bank account to obtain their funds.
After the sender makes the initial remittance, the recipient receives a Yahoo!PayDirect World Card, which is delivered within five days. The stored-value card can be used to withdraw local currency at any of the more than 800,000 Cirrus ATMs around the world. The sender can re-fill the same card, up to the specified limit, at the Yahoo! PayDirect Web site from their bank account.
In lieu of the PayDirect World Card, recipients can collect funds at any of the 60,000+ MoneyGram international money transfer locations worldwide. Senders also receive a free five-minute international virtual calling card to contact their receiver by phone after the money is sent.
The portal says the service is aimed at the rising global labour population. Foreign nationals in the US who send money home say "convenience" is the most important criteria for choosing a remittance method, and these global remittances total an estimated $140 billion to $200 billion per year.
Dickson Chu, general manager, Yahoo! PayDirect, says: "Foreign born nationals living and working in the United States that need to send money home can make their money go even farther, with rates well below many other money transfer methods."
The service, which has been developed in partnership with HSBC, eFunds and verso Technologies, is also available on Yahoo! Espanol.