Etisalat offers international bank transferals via phone to UAE residents

Pilot project launched in association with Mashreq, Tata Communications, Idea Cellular and HSBC India

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By  Quintin Smith Published  April 1, 2008

A new pilot program designed to speed regional money transfers to India has been launched in the UAE by Etisalat.

Etisalat are working in association with Mashreq, Tata Communications, Idea Cellular and HSBC India to offer international money transfers via mobile phone, a new service they want to make commercially available to the public by June 2008.

Customers making use of the service first have to transfer money from their bank account to a virtual ‘wallet’ that exists on their phone. From there it’s only a matter of a few key presses to transfer the funds into any bank account currently in partnership with the project.

Essa Al Haddad, Chief Marketing Officer at Etisalat, said: “We believe the convenience of this service, its ease of use & lower transaction costs will constitute a great attraction for the large Indian expatriate population here in the country. We look forward to working closely with our partners to revolutionize the process of money remittance here in the UAE which will become the first country in the region to offer such a service.”

In its current phase the project allows transfers to 40,000 Indian bank branches, though Etisalat says they are currently in talks with leading banks, financial institutions and telecom operators in other countries.

Natasha Patel, Head of Payments and Cash Management at HSBC India, said: “The remittance space is growing significantly and we need to provide a cost effective, convenient and secure mode of money transmission to the migrant population."

Etisalat intends to soon offer services allowing their customers to pay parking, ticketing and governmental fee through mobile phones, too.

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