UK mobile banking outfit Monitise has launched MoniHome, an international remittance service that enables customers to use their handsets to initiate, manage and track payments around the world.
The vendor says the new service will enable banks and mobile networks to offer remittances by connecting to its Monilink platform in the UK, or Monitise Americas in the US and Canada.
MoniHome was developed using existing standards deployed by remittance service providers to ensure it meets anti-money laundering and terrorism regulations, says Monitise. Recipients can receive funds directly into their bank accounts or can collect the cash from a physical location.
"Allowing money transfer to be managed using a secure application on their mobile phones will provide unprecedented levels of access and convenience to remittance senders," says Richard Johnson, CMO, Monitise.
Johnson says Monitise's partner banks and mobile operators "have expressed strong interest" in providing the remittance service to customers and the vendor expect to announce the first pilot of the service in the coming months.
Banks are increasingly looking to cash in on the remittance market. Research by Aite Group released last year predicts that global money transfer industry revenues will grow about six per cent CAGR between 2006 and 2010. By 2010, the industry will generate about US$18.3 billion in revenues, up from US$12.9 billion in 2004, according to the study.
Last week Citi launched a white-label platform called QuikRemit for both online and in-branch remittances. Wells Fargo, Bank of America and HSBC have all moved to tap into the Latin American money transfer business and have launched services aimed at the Hispanic community in the US.
Meanwhile, Western Union and MasterCard are both attempting to utilise mobile phones for remittances by working with GSMA - an international trade group of mobile phone operators - to develop the commercial and technical specifications for services.
Monitise will also be looking to cash in on the growing market after reporting a tripling of losses in its fiscal first half due to higher product development costs and slower-than-expected customer uptake of its services.
In a results statement released last week Monitise reported a net loss of £7.0 million for the six months to 31 December 2007, compared to a £2.29 million loss a year ago which it said was due to "continued investment in the Monitise platform and further development of our intellectual property".
The vendor also said customer take up of its mobile banking and payments services "has been somewhat slower than we initially anticipated".