MasterCard takes controlling stake in mobile remittance service

Payment provider MasterCard has teamed up with mobile payment solutions provider eServGlobal and Belgacom’s carrier services unit BICS to extend the capabilities of their international mobile remittance platform HomeSend. The three firms have set up a joint venture which uses the HomeSend platform, in which MasterCard will have a controlling share.

The platform was developed as part of a strategic partnership between eServGlobal and BICS.  The joint venture, also called HomeSend, will enable consumers to send money to and from mobile money accounts as well as from bank accounts, payment cards and cash outlets.

MasterCard’s involvement sees it connecting its more than 24,000 financial institution customers on its network to HomeSend subscribers. The joint venture will provide consumers with new options for sending or receiving funds. According to the firms, HomeSend currently has live deployments in 50 countries and commercial contracts with mobile operators and money transfer operators with over 1.2 billion subscribers combined.

The joint venture also allows users to integrate mobile wallets or money transfer systems of two different providers and provides access to other service providers, such as money transfer organisations and banks. Based on World Bank estimates, remittances to developing countries will reach around $515bn by 2015.

“HomeSend will provide an important platform to deliver improved remittance services, and bring person-to-person transfer capabilities to more financially underserved consumers around the globe,” stated Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard.

“MasterCard, eServGlobal and BICS each brings its own unique contribution to the newly formed entity. Collectively, we have an opportunity to improve people’s lives.”

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