Mobile Money @ Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress 2010


Bringing together the financial and mobile industries, the Pay-Buy-Mobile (PBM) project provides a clear pathway to a successful mobile Near Field Communications (NFC) payment services.

A credit card in your mobile phone

NFC will enable mobile phones to be used to make fast, secure payments by passing the phone close to a point-of-sale ‘reader’.

Today, 52 mobile operators, serving over 1.7 billion subscribers, are supporting the PBM project; with many actively engaged in a variety of live trials and product launches.


Mobile Money Transfer

The GSMA Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) project provides the environment for the mobile phone to become the key enabler for sending international remittances.

Traditional Remittance Services Have Limited Reach and High Costs
With many traditional remittance services, access to facilities to receive money is often limited, particularly for the poorest people in more rural areas, where the banking sector is under-represented and the economy is largely cash-based. Those who would benefit most are therefore the least likely to be able to receive remittances from migrant workers. They are locked out of the market due to their social, economic and geographical position.

In addition, retail premises and staff costs of banks and remittance companies lead to high fixed commission costs for remittances. The average commission fee is estimated to be 15% per transaction, increasing to over 25% for remittances below $100. These high costs limit the ability of individual workers to distribute funds to a larger number of people and penalise the poor who can only afford to send small amounts of money.

Mobile Phones Provide a New Remittance Channel with Greater Reach
Mobile phones now significantly outnumber ATMs, giving mobile operators a level of reach far greater than money transfer providers and banks. Mobile operators are therefore uniquely positioned to solve the access problem and drive costs down to levels that open the formal remittance channel to users that would otherwise seek informal methods of remittance.

In the developed world, the availability of smart phones, a demand for an integrated lifestyle and a desire for greater convenience is driving increasing interest in mobile money and mobile enabled remittance.

Mobile Technology Can Lower the Cost of Remittances
Mobile technology can lower the cost of remittances as it removes the need for physical points of presence and ensures a timely and secure method of transaction. This concept of ‘e-cash’ is extremely attractive to low income users in particular.

The World Bank estimates that reducing remittance commission charges by 2-5% could increase the flow of formal remittances by 50-70%, which would boost local economies. Reducing the cost of sending each individual remittance encourages the delivery of lower value remittances, at values far less than today’s average transfer of US$200.

Mobile Communications Can Drive Significant Growth of the Formal Remittance Market
The ubiquity and high penetration rates of mobile technology around the world provide mobile operators with the potential to vastly improve and transform access to remittance funds for people in developing countries. The GSMA forecasts that the ‘formal’ global remittance market could be grown from around US$300 billion today to over US$1 trillion in five years with the help of mobile communications.


Mobile Signatures

Promoting the use of the mobile phone to generate and utilise digital signatures to provide legally binding and ultimately secured transactions.

Mobile Signatures is an enabling technology that carries identity information (qualified digital certificates) over a GSM network and provides that information to any authorised application. Mobile signatures are digital signatures that are created using private key data that is stored on the UICC; so it can be used to provide legally binding and ultimately secured transactions. The technology is not restricted to mobile services but can also be used for non-mobile services as long as a connection with the mobile signature platform is in place.

Mobile Signatures enables services both on Internet and GSM networks that were previously impossible to perform remotely since they require either personal presence and/or a wet signature. It not only provides additional levels of security but also increases customers’ ARPU with new messaging traffic, gives mobile operators the potential to partner with external service providers.

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