Societe Generale and Obopay Bring Mobile Money to Africa

Multi-country partnership rolls out innovative solution for money transfer and bill payment via mobile phones

Jun 28, 2010, 08:30 ET from Obopay, Inc.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Societe Generale, one of the leading financial services groups in the world, and Obopay, a leading mobile banking and payment provider, today announced they are teaming to bring mobile payment services to banked and unbanked customers who have access to a mobile phone.  The partnership between the companies is intended to make mobile payments available in new markets, with the first stage of the initiative being launched today in Senegal through Societe Generale de Banques au Senegal (SGBS).

The new service, offered as "Yoban'tel by Obopay", is a carrier-agnostic, mobile money transfer and bill payment service that is available to all the people of Senegal with a mobile phone.  This is accomplished by leveraging SGBS's current branches and opening up new channels of distribution for banking services through commercial partners including Credit Mutuel du Senegal, TIGO and CANALSAT HORIZONS.  Users can enroll for a mobile payment service and load or pick up cash at designated locations throughout Senegal.  They can also use the service to send money to anyone throughout the country, or to pay a bill.

"In Senegal, traditional banking services are typically very limited; people can spend an entire day each month standing in line to pay for things like their utility services in cash," said Richard Hababou, managing director of Societe Generale Innovations Group.  "Yoban'tel by Obopay allows us to establish innovative and convenient mobile money transfer and payments for those Senegalese who have previously not had access to such services."

With Yoban'tel by Obopay, any Senegalese resident owning a mobile phone will be able to send money to recipients using a simple SMS transaction.  With Yoban'tel by Obopay:

  • Yoban'tel by Obopay services are available for both existing customers of the bank or new customers through a prepaid account
  • Any mobile phone can carry out the transaction, which requires a simple SMS message to send the transfer request, without having to change the phone's SIM card or install an application on the phone
  • The system is compatible with all telecom carriers; from the start, SGBS envisioned the mobile transfer and bill payment system as carrier-agnostic and not limited to transfers within a single network
  • Users enjoy universal security; whether bank customers or not, all clients of the Yoban'tel by Obopay service are covered by the same security SGBS provides for its own clients – the same standards of a major international bank.

"Partnering with one of the world's leading banks, Societe Generale, enables them to put mobile money at the heart of their accounts," said Obopay CEO Carol Realini, who founded the company following volunteer work in Africa, where she witnessed people in some of the most remote areas of the world carrying phones who lacked access to banking. "Their reach will bring new mobile money access to millions.  Furthermore, this latest offering extends our experience in meeting the needs of four different sets of regulatory environments and market dynamics – including the US, India, Kenya and now Senegal – and gives us the expertise, robust platform and service offering needed to expand into new markets very quickly."

The launch of Yoban'tel by Obopay reaffirms the Societe Generale group's ambition to promote financial services to the greatest number of people around the world.  The launch is part of its plan to leverage the latest technological advances in the development of new payment methods.  For Obopay, the launch provides a further proof point of its leadership in the global mobile money market and commitment to an ecosystem approach that meets the requirements of the largest banks in the world.

About Obopay

Founded in 2005, Obopay, Inc., (banks.obopay.com) offers financial institutions an open, trusted, secure and interoperable mobile payments service by transforming any mobile phone into a convenient and easy way to send and receive money.  The company's Mobile Money for Banks offers bank-branded, account-centric mobile service quickly, painlessly and at low deployment cost.  Obopay's broad-based offering addresses the needs of consumers and businesses around the world by providing a ubiquitous service that delivers value, empowers lives and improves opportunity for merchants both in the physical and virtual worlds.  The company provides innovative mobile money services making it easy for mobile phone users to securely send and receive money, top-up their mobile, buy online, buy via mobile, pay bills and pay small businesses.  Obopay believes the power is in the network and has established partnerships that include Nokia, MasterCard, Citibank, AT&T, Verizon, Essar, Yes Bank in India, Blackberry and Societe Generale.  Global headquarters are in Redwood City, CA with operations in India.

About Societe Generale

Societe Generale is one of the largest financial services groups in the world. The Group employs 157,000 people worldwide in three key businesses:

  • Retail Banking, Specialised Financing & Insurance: Societe Generale serves 32 million individual customers worldwide.
  • Private Banking, Global Investment Management & Services: Societe Generale is one of the largest banks in the euro-zone in terms of assets under custody (EUR 3,246 billion, March 2010) and under management (EUR 164 billion excluding Amundi, March 2010).
  • Corporate & Investment Banking: Societe Generale tailors solutions for its clients across sectors by capitalizing on its worldwide expertise in investment banking, global finance, and global markets.

Societe Generale is included in the socially-responsible investment indexes: FTSE4Good and ASPI. In 2010, the title of SAM Sector Mover was awarded to Societe Generale.  For more information, visit www.societegenerale.com

More Information about Obopay:

Web site: www.obopay.com

Blog: blog.obopay.com

Twitter: twitter.com/Obopay



SOURCE Obopay, Inc.



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http://www.obopay.com


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