It’s all about money today. Here are a bunch of services for quickly settling shared bills/debts among friends using the mobile phone, and a couple of services for express international money transfers directly from your PC.
(1) Send/Receive Money on your Mobile (via Text Messaging)
These are relatively new services that let you instantly transfer money to someone from the convenience of your Phone. All you need is a mobile phone and your friend’s (or …) mobile number. Most of these services are currently available only to US, UK, Canadian and European residents. Some carrier restrictions apply.
– the cheapest service for transferring funds via mobile. It’s free to send/receive and to deposit/withdraw funds to/from your bank account. Only whe you want to auto-debit funds from your credit card, there is a fixed charge of $0.15 + 1.35 % of the total amount (free for first $200).
– apart from text messaging Obopay provides two more ways for sending money via mobile. You can either use your phone’s web browser and make transactions directly though Obopay’s website or download Obopay software to your mobile. It’s free to receive money and $0.10 for sending. OboPay also provides prepaid mastercard which can be used in shops and restaurants as any other debit card. Funds sent to your Obopay account will be available on your card in a matter of minutes.
PayPal Mobile – online payment system PayPal also allows you to utilize your account via mobile. At the moment service available only in US, UK and Canada. You can activate your phone for PayPal Mobile payments from here. Based on the current fee structure using PayPal mobile may be more expensive than the above two.
(2) Sending Money Abroad From Your PC
These may not be the cheapest services out there, but guaranteed to be fast and reliable. All of them charge differently, depending on the transfer amount and destination. In case, you need to send someone quick cash directly from your PC give them a try.
WesternUnion – allows you to transfer money worldwide directly from your PC using your credit (Visa or MasterCard)or debit card. Recipient will be able to pick up cash in under 20 minutes from any local WU branch. This service is currently available only for senders residing in the following countries: Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden and US.
MoneyGram – same as WesternUnion although usage of credit/debit cards isn’t required and funds can be debited directly from your bank account.
– while the above two services deliver cash, iKobo sends your recipient a reloadable Visa Debit Card which s/he can use to get cash from over 800,000 ATMs worldwide or use it wherever VISA Debit is accepted. Next time you send money to the same recipient, funds will be available in his/her iKobo card in a matter of seconds. More on