Western Union adds mChek, Fundamo to mobile vendor program

Western Union has certified India-based mChek and South Africa-based Fundamo as participants in its

The program is intended to extend the reach and accessibility of Western Union Money Transfer services to mobile finance initiatives in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

In addition, Western Union has selected Comviva, a provider of mobile value-added solutions in emerging markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, to participate in the program.

Western Union has also entered into pilot agreements with global mobile operators Smart Communications and Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Safaricom in Kenya, Vodafone in the UK, Zain Group in Africa, Orascom Telecom in the Middle East and Africa and Maxis in Malaysia.

Mobile operators who sign agreements with certified Western Union Mobile Vendors and Western Union will be able to offer their subscribers the option to send and/or receive money through Western Union's money transfer system. Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) is currently available through select agent locations as Western Union embarks on a program to extend availability to more locations during 2010.

Khalid Fellahi, SVP of Africa and head of mobile transaction services at Western Union, said: "We're pleased to announce the certification of mChek and Fundamo and to welcome Comviva to the program. By collaborating with these vendors, who are well-known as experts in their fields, we believe we can put the power of Western Union on the mobile phones of more people around the world."

Western Union entered the mobile financial services space in the second quarter of 2008, with an endorsement for a global pilot program by the GSM Association, a global trade association representing more than 750 mobile operators worldwide.