Lebara partners with MoneyGram to expand its Lebara Money services

Thursday 20 June 2013 | 16:16 CET | Background

Despite the focus on NFC and mobile wallets by MNOs or companies like Google, there are also other ways people use mobiles to transfer money, especially where it concerns international money transfers. One such example is Lebara Money, which earlier in June 2013 partnered with MoneyGram to provide more opportunities for international money transfers.

Lebara was founded in 2001 and is active as MVNO in eight countries: Netherlands, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland and Australia. In total the group serves around 4.0 million customers. The original vision of the founders was to transform the international calling market, making it easier for migrant communities to stay in touch with friends and family back home. However Lebara Money is not yet available in all its countries. It has first been rolled out to the UK and the other European countries will follow suit.

According to MobileMoneyAfrica the partnership means that MoneyGram's fund transfer platform has been incorporated within the Lebara Money iPhone and Android mobile payment platform and the Lebara Money website. This in turn means that UK customers can execute international transfers from a mobile phone or pc to over 320,000 MoneyGram locations in 198 nations¸ after they have downloaded the Lebara Money app from the iTunes or Android stores for those wanting to use their smartphone. According to Lebara this entails that customers can transfer money within 10 minutes (subject to agent hours of operation and local regulation) – online or from their mobile.

Customers can pay by using their own debit card or a Lebara Prepaid Mastercard. Once the transaction has been completed, Lebara sends the customer an SMS with 8 digit reference number (or the customer can check this online). The customer will need to send this reference number to their intended recipient. The recipient needs to quote the reference number as well as show a valid photo ID and fill out a simple form before being handed the money. The fees for transferring money depend on the amount sent and the country it is being sent to. As an extra incentive Lebara can offer extra call credit to customers using the MoneyGram mobile transfer system.

Lebara CEO David Moffatt commented, "The new Lebara Money cross-border mobile money transfer service, easily accessible with a smart phone, enables our customers to make reliable, peer-to-peer money transfers in the house, the workplace or while out and about."

Lebara hasn’t said whether the full Lebara Money service (so transfers via Moneygram, the prepaid Mastercard and sending top-ups overseas) will be available in the other European countries or if only the deal with Moneygram will be applied in those countries. Although international money remittances are only a small part of the entire mobile money world, with nearly a million customers in the Netherlands alone Lebara Money can be another player which will increase the awareness and usage of mobile phones for financial transactions

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