mChek, Fundamo certified for Western Union mobile payments programme

Source: Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a global leader in money-transfer services, announced today that it has certified two participants in its Mobile Vendor Program: India-based mChek and South Africa-based Fundamo.

"By collaborating with these vendors, who are well-known as experts in their fields, we believe we can put the power of Western Union on the mobile phones of more people around the world."

In addition, Western Union announced that it has selected Comviva, a leading provider of mobile value-added solutions in emerging markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, to participate in the program.

Western Union announced the launch of the program - formerly called the Digital Vendor program - at the GSMA Mobile Money Summit in Barcelona, Spain, in June of last year. The program is intended to extend the reach and accessibility of Western Union Money Transfer® services to mobile finance initiatives in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

"We're pleased to announce the certification of mChek and Fundamo and to welcome Comviva to the program," said Khalid Fellahi, Western Union's Senior Vice President, Africa, and Head of Mobile Transaction Services. "By collaborating with these vendors, who are well-known as experts in their fields, we believe we can put the power of Western Union on the mobile phones of more people around the world."

mChek and Fundamo are the first to be certified in Western Union's program. Other participants include Singapore-based Utiba, U.S.-based Sybase 365, YellowPepper, a mobile vendor in Latin America, and now, India-based Comviva.

Mobile operators who sign agreements with certified Western Union Mobile Vendors and Western Union will be able to offer their subscribers the option to send and/or receive money through Western Union's money transfer system. Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) is currently available through select Agent locations as Western Union embarks on a program to extend availability to more locations during 2010.

Western Union entered the mobile financial services space in the second quarter of 2008, with an endorsement for a global pilot program by the GSM Association, a global trade association representing more than 750 mobile operators worldwide.

In addition, the company has pilot agreements with global mobile operators Smart Communications and Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Safaricom in Kenya, Vodafone in the U.K., Zain Group in Africa, Orascom Telecom in the Middle East and Africa and Maxis in Malaysia.

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