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Obopay launches mobile money transfer service in Kenya

December 15, 2009

2250Obopay is powering a newly introduced mobile money transfer service from Essar Telecom Kenya Limited’s yu-branded mobile phone service.

The service is branded yuCash by Obopay and it brings mobile money transferring access to the Kenyan yu subscribers. The service will eventually be an Africa-wide platform.

“With this launch, Obopay is continuing to expand its global reach to transform the way people and small businesses transact,” said David Schwartz, head of corporate and product marketing at Obopay, Redwood City, CA. “This is just another step toward delivering universal access to financial services through innovative mobile banking and payments services.

“Yu brings a significant and relevant service to its growing subscriber base in Kenya and will extend its efforts in the region at a later date,” he said.

Obopay is a mobile payments service in the United States that lets consumers get, send and spend money on their wireless device. The company has partnerships with major industry players such as Nokia, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and MasterCard.

The Essar Group is a business corporation with a portfolio of assets in the manufacturing and services sectors of steel, energy, power, communications, shipping ports, logistics and other projects.

Essar Group has a presence in more than 15 countries worldwide.

The company has various interests in wireless services such as wireless carriers, telecom tower infrastructure, telecom retail and IT/telecom-enabled services.

Reaching the unbanked
Besides Obopay, yuCash has also partnered with Equity Bank, which has one of the largest branch networks in Kenya.

The service features a variety of functions including a record of transaction. More features will be unveiled as yuCash by Obopay begins operations.

Obopay recently launched a mobile payment application that lets iPhone users send money to friends and family.

The application lets consumers send money to anyone with a United States phone number. The application is free to download and it costs 25 cents for each money transfer (see story).

Mr. Schwartz said the yuCash service launch helps address the need of a large segment of the population in Kenya that does not have access to banking.

“YuCash by Obopay aims to deliver the services that meet the needs of the unbanked, at a very competitive cost,” Mr. Schwartz said. “The service brings a unique set of benefits targeted at consumers, including the ability to request money, view transaction history and send a short message with each transaction.”

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Chirs Harnick is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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