Start-up m-Via launches Boom mobile remittance service

Source: m-Via

m-Via™, the company revolutionizing how families save and share their wealth, today launched the Boom™ mobile money service.

Boom is the first service to fully eliminate the need for traditional cash services. With Boom, consumers finally have access to the kind of banking and money transfer service they have desired for years. Boom is safe, economical and easy -- sending money is now as simple as sending a text message.

Each year, millions of migrant workers transfer hundreds of billions of dollars globally, often paying more than $20 per cash wire transaction with recipients having to travel for hours to pick up remitted funds. Small dollar amount wire transfers of less than $50 are not cost effective due to these high fees, while larger wire transfers can cost upwards of $75. Cash wire services are often in unsafe neighborhoods, and theft is common for both senders and recipients making the process risky and time consuming.

To address these problems, m-Via created Boom, the largest mobile money network in the Americas. Boom members can use their mobile phone to make money transfers of any size from $5 to $1000, as well as make purchases and withdrawals at participating Boom Merchants and Boom ATMs. m-Via has built an extensive partner network for Boom where members can load money, withdraw money, and make purchases from their Boom accounts.

Boom launch partners include 7-Eleven® Inc. (powered by PayNearMe Inc.), the Allpoint® ATM Network, the Diconsa retail network in Mexico, and PayXchange. Through these partners, Boom Members have access to more than 15,000 U.S. cash load locations, 23,000 Boom merchants in Mexico, and over 150,000 Boom ATMs in the U.S. and Mexico, and another 650,000 ATMs in more than 150 countries.

"The beauty of m-Via's solution is that while it is complex behind the curtain, it's incredibly simple for consumers to use," said Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven's senior vice president of merchandising, marketing and logistics. "This service with m-Via is another first -- and a very convenient way for our customers to share money using any cell phone."

"Traditional money transfer services are unsafe, expensive and inconvenient for recipients who have to travel to pick up money," said Bill Barhydt, m-Via CEO. "Our core consumer is a hard-working immigrant who sends money home to support their extended family. They are the last person who should be forced to pay exorbitant fees for money transfer services. Boom is a breakthrough service that addresses these problems by leveraging new mobile and banking technologies, and a massive agent and ATM network, combined with a consumer experience that is simple, secure and even fun."

"With massive consumer migration happening on a global scale and with billions of dollars flowing across borders every year, this is a multi-billion dollar market opportunity," said Jim Robinson of RRE Ventures. "There is a lot of hot air in the mobile payments space, but m-Via is solving a real global problem with a viable solution that could impact hundreds of millions of people still using antiquated cash services."

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