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6/17/2009
04:20 PM
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MasterCard Intros Mobile Payment Platform

The company's MoneySend service enables people to send money to others using any cell phone or smartphone.

MasterCard has rolled out in the United States a payment service that enables users to do person-to-person transfers with their cell phones or smartphones.

The service, called MoneySend, is a technology collaboration with Obopay, and it lets customers send and receive funds through text messages, mobile browsers, dedicated mobile applications, and a desktop PC. The company said this service is a flexible solution that has multiple real-life applications. One example is that parents could use it to send money to college kids, and it could potentially be used for virtual goods in social networks as well.

The company said because the service uses SMS, nearly any modern phone can access it. More sophisticated devices like smartphones can use the mobile Web to use MoneySend, and MasterCard said it will soon have rich applications available for Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphone and Apple's iPhone.

Users need to register for an account with their cell phone number and personal information, and they then get a virtual number that can be used to make commercial transactions or receive funds. Users also can get a prepaid physical card that can be used in retail locations. The issuer of the card will be able to set the transaction fee, MasterCard said.

Rival Visa is also putting a lot of effort into the mobile payment space, as it has launched multiple banking programs and apps for Android smartphones. PayPal also has a similar program that enables users to send and receive funds with SMS, and the company is working on a program that would let customers use their phones to buy products.


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