PayPal today announced that they have teamed up with TransferTo, a global airtime remittance leader, to offer mobile airtime top-up in Canada.
Without any transfer fees, Canadians can now use their PayPal account to instantly top-up prepaid mobile phones of their relatives and friends that are registered with over 400 carriers in more than 100 countries. All the sender needs is their own PayPal account and the mobile number of the recipient, to top-up a prepaid mobile phone using their smartphone, tablet or computer on www.paypal-mobiletopup.ca.
“Mobile phones help connect people with their communities, and give them access to education, employment, and essential medical and financial services,” said Cameron Schmidt, general manager, PayPal Canada. “With today’s announcement, Canadians can extend a lifeline to a grandmother who needs to frequently call her doctor in India, or help a sister access the Internet from her mobile phone in the Philippines.”
Prepaid mobile phones dominate abroad
According to Statistics Canada, one out of five people living in Canada were born abroad. A large number of Canadian immigrants are from the Philippines, India and China1 – regions that have heavy mobile phone usage.
- In 2011, more than 152,000 Canadians were born in the Philippines, representing 13.1 per cent of all immigrantsi. There are more mobile connections (114.6 million) in the Philippines than there are people (100.9 million). Of those mobile connections, 95 per cent are prepaidii.
- China is the second leading country of birth among people who immigrated to Canada between 2006 and 2011i. There are 1.3 billion mobile connections in China of which 79 per cent are prepaidii.
- India is the third leading country of birth among people who immigrated to Canada between 2006 and 2011i. There are 941 million mobile connections in India of which 95 per cent are prepaidi.
Supporting loved ones back home
“People come first for me. Staying connected with my aunts, uncles and relatives in India is an essential part of my life,” says basketball superfan, Nav Bhatia, a Toronto-based Sikh entrepreneur who moved to Canada 30 years ago. “In life, and in basketball, communication is the key to success. PayPal now offers me a way to top up my relatives’ prepaid mobile phones. Now, regardless of the distance, we can operate better as a team and feel closer as a family.”
“When I immigrated to Canada, I left my family behind in Beijing,” said Shally Shi, a new immigrant to Canada. “My parents miss me and wish they could speak to me more often, but international calls are expensive in China. With PayPal, I can now top-up my parents’ mobile phones so they can call me more frequently.”
“Every month, I send money to my mother back home in Manila to pay for her phone usage,” said Josephine Bungcayao, who immigrated to Canada from the Philippines. “I am so grateful PayPal allows me a way to easily top up her prepaid phone so she can stay in touch with me and her family and friends.”