Western Union, VTN Launch Mobile Money Transfer Service in Nigeria (April 1, 2013)
A new money transfer service is providing Nigerians with a way to manage and access their Western Union remittances via their mobile phones. VCASH subscribers can use the service, which was launched last week by Western Union Co. and Nigerian mobile payment operator Virtual Terminal Network, to transfer individual Western Union remittances up to US$300 and combined daily remittances up to US$800 into their VTN VCASH accounts.
Funds in users’ VCASH accounts can be sent to other VCASH users or be used to pay bills and purchase goods and services. VCASH users also can deposit funds into their accounts in any of Nigeria’s commercial banks. VCASH users who choose not to direct funds into their electronic accounts can use traditional Western Union Money Transfer services to receive international remittances in cash at any of the company’s more than 4,800 agent locations in the country.
African countries, such as Kenya and Nigeria, have been identified by the prepaid and emerging payments industry for their market growth potential—in large part because of the penetration rate of mobile phones, high percentage of unbanked and underbanked consumers and a progressive central bank open to payments innovation. Vodafone’s M-Pesa mobile payment and money transfer service, for example, has experienced much success in Kenya since it was launched in 2007.
“Being able to move international money transfers into mobile phones in a nation that has a greater penetration of mobile phones than bank accounts is central to facilitating financial inclusion,” said Aida Diarra, Western Union regional vice president for North, Central and West Africa.