Vodafone to challenge Western Union for overseas money transfers

Having achieved considerable success with money transfers in emerging markets--notably Kenya, Vodafone is now actively considering implementing a scheme that challenges the overseas money transfer incumbent Western Union. The initial focus will be the large number of migrant workers in the U.K., thought to be contributing between £2 billion and £5 billion of the total economy, who want to send money to India, Turkey, Egypt and South Africa using their handsets.

Vodafone's existing m-pesa service is run in partnership with Citibank and is currently using the service for domestic money transfer schemes in developing countries, where people in cities send money back to families in rural areas. This experience will be used by Vodafone to launch its international service and compete with the well-established Western Union--although many believe at a substantially lower cost.

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