Western Union is partnering with Malaysian telco Maxis to launch a cross-border mobile money transfer service targetting the country's 1.9 million foreign workers.
With the launch of the service in early 2010, more than 11 million Maxis subscribers in Malaysia will be able to send funds from their mobile phones. The recipient will be able to pick up the funds in cash at more than 345,000 Western Union Agent locations in 200 countries.
The joint service with Maxis will mark the first time that Western Union has enabled mobile money transfer transactions from a mobile phone outside the United States.
In 2008, more than US$6.4 billion (RM22.3 billion) in remittances was sent out of Malaysia. Many of these remittances were sent by the estimated 1.9 million foreign workers living in Malaysia - largely Indonesians, Filipinos, Bangladeshis, Nepalese and Vietnamese.
Matt Dill, SVP and head, Western Union Digital Ventures, comments: "International immigrants living in Malaysia send money home to loved ones around the world anywhere from five to 15 times a year. This segment of the population also has high mobile phone penetration rates - more than 90% for all migrant groups."