Belgacom pilots mobile payments and remittance transfers

Belgacom pilots mobile payments and remittance transfers

Belgacom is partnering with Accor Services, Delhaiuze and Coca-Cola to pilot a new mobile payment service, dubbed Ping.Ping.

The Begian telco is tapping technology from its recently acquired 40% stake in mobile wallet vendor Tunz for the trials. The technology enables users to make contactless payments, transfer funds, view transactions and make peer-to-peer payments.

The wallet can be accessed via SMS text message, a Java application or online and is available to subscribers of all Belgian mobile operators.

The firm has embarked on a pilot project with Accor Services, Delhaize and Coca-Cola to test the contactless NFC feature with 500 Belgacom staff at drink dispensers and for canteen purchases.

In a separate move Belgacom and m-payments vendor eServGlobal say they have successfully tested their new mobile phone-based international money transfer service.

The HomeSend service - a global hubbing service for international remittance, airtime exchange and roaming recharge - was used to send remittances by phone from Belgium to a North African country.

The test comes shortly after the partners were selected by the GSMA, which represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry, as a remittance provider for its mobile money transfer programme.

According to the GSMA 175 million migrants currently use remittance services, sending money to around 800 million dependent recipients. Remittance flows have reached $320 billion, and are estimated to rise to $700 billion by 2012.

Daniel Kurgan, CEO, Belgacom ICS, says: "Since the GSMA endorsement, this successful trial is the first big achievement for HomeSend, an innovative new hubbing service, that will open up new markets and enable mobile operators to make a bold step into a high-value area."

Earlier this week the World Bank published a report warning that remittances will fall by $15 billion, to $290 billion this year as the global recession takes its toll.

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