Crandy - a unit of German m-payments outfit NCS - has launched a person-to-person mobile payments service that enables customers within the European Union (EU) to transfer money to recipients in Africa using their handsets.
Crandy's Call & Pay system has already been introduced in the Cameroonian city of Doual, in partnership with local service provider Mobile Money Cameroon and Union Bank of Cameroon (UBC).
Users can transfer money from bank accounts or rechargeable cards by making a phone call. The person being sent the money receives an SMS text message informing them of the transfer and collects the cash at the nearest branch of UBC or local microfinance outfit Fiffa.
NCS says it expects the system to be rolled out in eight other African countries over the next few weeks.
Crandy is entering a crowded but lucrative market, with Western Union and MasterCard 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.
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.