RegaloCards Mobile Payments Network Expands
"Who are RegaloCard?" some people may be asking. I'd have said the same a few months ago. But so far in 2010 they've made half a dozen announcements about their mobile money transfer services. RegaloCard is an example of an innovative approach to mobile money transfers. It is a prepaid gift card that immigrants can buy in the US. The redemption PIN is delivered via mobile payment technology to the person they choose in Latin America, to make purchases at local retailers. The service is available for people from El Salvador working in the US who want to send money home to friends and family and has just this week expanded to Guatemala. It works by partnering with outlets such as restaurants and pharmacies in the destination country. Burger King is one example. International money transfers have been hit by the recession but there is still a large market to address for players like this. Compared to traditional money transfer services, mobile services have an opportunity to undercut commission rates. They also add the immediacy and convenience of using the mobile. In this case the business model results in the service being free to sender and recipient. My view is that the customer offer from these services looks attractive. This market is being addressed by a variety of players - from mobile network operators and banks/financial institutions, traditional remittance companies to vendors and tech start up players - who can all see an opportunity. I'd also emphasise another key factor here. It's the importance of customising the mobile money transfer service offering so that it suits local market conditions and for the service providers to target specific groups of migrant workers as indeed RegaloCard are. Partnering is the critical element of strategy.