Bank Card Company (BCC) in Belgium and Spron in Iceland have joined the UK's Royal Bank of Scotland and CartaSi of Italy in testing MasterCard's new person-to-person money transfer system MoneySend.
MasterCard says the first cross-border MoneySend transactions - between Royal Bank of Scotland and Banca Popolari di MIlano - were successfully authorised and cleared in a trial run in January 2004.
Olivier Denis, product manager, MasterCard Europe, says: "Cardholders whose banks are providing this service can send money to any other MasterCard or Maestro cardholder no matter where they are in the world."
Cardholders transfer money by tapping in a password and authorising the transaction at their bank Web site or via SMS messaging from their mobile phone. The recipient can be identified by an e-mail address, a mobile phone or MasterCard card number or Maestro PAN (personal account number). The MasterCard MoneySend platform translates the recipient's email or mobile phone number into an associated PAN and then routes the transaction over the MasterCard network. The recipient then receives an email or SMS message notifying them that the money has arrived.
Speaking on behalf of Spron, executive vice president and head of sales and marketing, Kristjan Hardarson, says: "As Europe sets a new pace for borderless payments, more consumer-friendly methods to secure personal money transfers have to be found. The MasterCard MoneySend approach is the right fit and we’re looking forward to making the service work for our customers."
Seperately, MasterCard has announced the introduction of a new 'Sepa Licence' (Single European Payments Area). Effective as of 1 May, to mark the entry of the ten accession countries into the European Union, and covering 28 countries in total, it will enable member banks to apply for an overall card licensing programme across the Union rather than the current one country=one license approach.