MADISON, Wis. — World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), through its for-profit subsidiary WOCCU Services Group (WSG), has joined forces with Pa-Go Mobile Inc. and mFunds Global Payment Solutions Inc. to broaden its delivery of cost-effective remittance services to Latin America.
The partnership is one of nine that WSG maintains through IRnet®, its low cost remittance service linking credit unions in the United States to those in eight different countries. Initial trials with Pa-Go Mobile and mFunds will focus on remittances originating from the U.S., Mexico and Central America, later expanding to other remittance corridors throughout Latin America and other parts of the world.
"Since WOCCU began offering remittance services in 2001, we've looked for ways to offer lower-priced, transparent and reliable transfer options," said Saul Wolf, WOCCU manager of remittance services. "The mobile, card and online solutions offered by mFunds and Pa-Go Mobile will provide significant value to our international credit union partners as well as their members."
In addition to their flexibility, Pa-Go Mobile and mFunds will offer access to services which many immigrants working in the U.S. already use. Transactions through these networks are more convenient and less expensive than the current agent-based money transmitter firms which dominate the market.
"This agreement will expand the reach of mFunds and Pa-Go Mobile's bundled solution of prepaid cards, mobile and online infrastructure to deliver financial services to a much broader range of users, and at a far better price," said Don Barbacovi, mFunds CEO. "We are tremendously motivated by what WSG and WOCCU bring to the table."
Since WOCCU established IRnet® in 2001, affiliates in nine countries have transferred approximately $3.5 billion in remittances, making it one of the world's largest non-bank remittance networks. For 2010, WOCCU expects to top $500 million in remitted funds.
"This is a step in the right direction for us," said Tony Zaragoza, Pa-Go Mobile's executive vice president, "allowing our users to gain access to what will translate to more competitively priced remittances, which will now be in the palms of their hands, on their mobile phones."
About mFunds Global Payment Solutions Inc.
mFunds Global Payment Solutions, Inc., based in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, offers debit card programs and mobile commerce applications. The company is a registered ISO of MasterCard and Discover, through its card-issuing institution Palm Desert (Calif.) National Bank. mFunds also owns a mobile wallet solution accessed via SMS, WAP, IVR, We, or on-device application formats, so that any mobile subscriber on any carrier can use the service.
About Pa-Go Mobile Inc.
Pa-Go Mobile Inc. is a mobile payment solutions company established to leverage technology in three industry segments: banking, wireless and the prepaid industry, including telephone and debit. With offices in Seattle, Wash., San Diego, Calif., and Phoenix, Ariz., USA, Pa-Go Mobile's mission is to broaden financial inclusion by leveraging mobile access tools with mainstream financial products, such as insured pre-funded debit card accounts, international remittances and bill payments, to people generally excluded from receiving such services at a reasonable price. Pa-Go Mobile's vision is to facilitate large-scale financial inclusion to underserved communities by providing a comprehensive suite of financial tools that can become available to every individual.
About WOCCU Services Group
WOCCU Services Group (WSG), a wholly owned subsidiary of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), supports WOCCU in various for-profit endeavors, such as card services and shared branching. WSG offices in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya, Mexico and Peru offer a new model of credit union service organizations that provides technical, operational and regulatory expertise to credit unions in countries where WOCCU has had or currently has programs. WSG offices also assist credit unions in developing and implementing new technologies, products and services to more efficiently and rapidly reach underserved areas.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.