Verizon, the number two US wireless carrier, is to offer consumers the opportunity to make purchases and conduct person-to-person funds transfers via their mobile phones using technology from privately-held Obopay.
The Obopay service comes with a pre-paid MasterCard, which can be used at any ATM or retail outlet that accepts credit cards. Subscribers can check their account balances, collect money owed from other mobile users, view transaction histories, and invite friends to use the service.
Obopay will initially run on Verizon Wireless mobile phones as a Brew application that can be downloaded from the Verizon Wireless Get It Now online catalogue. To sign up friends, users send cash to prompt others to participate or issue mobile alert invites.
Obopay has already struck similar deals with Cellular South, Helio and Earthlink. In February, the California-based start-up teamed with Citibank to launch a pilot person-to-person mobile payment service for credit and debit card customers.