Malaysian telco Celcom has tapped Sybase 365 to power a new 'instant messaging'-based mobile money transfer service.
The AirCash service, run on the Sybase 365mCommerce mobiliser platform, will be made available to over nine million Celcom customers.
Customers will be able to use their handsets to transfer money to fellow users, remit cash to other countries (initially Indonesia), and top up their mobile airtime. Users can also top up or withdraw money from their AirCash accounts at Celcom branches.
"We expect cross border remittance to appeal particularly to Malaysia's migrant population who seek secure, instant and cost effective ways to send money home," says Kevin Henry, head, business innovation, Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad.
The system is the first in Asia Pacific to be based on USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), an 'instant messaging type' phone service with quick response times similar to SMS. However, unlike SMS, USSD transactions occur only during the session and have no store-and-forward capability.
Celcom's parent company Axiata plans to roll out the service in other countries in the region that have major remittance markets. Axiata has interests in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Singapore.