E-cash solution Ukash and mobile community mig33 have partnered to become the first in South Africa to enable the loading of cash value using vouchers into mig33's mobile community.
The new deal, facilitated by the Mobile Services Company (MSC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of listed Blue Label Telecoms, will give millions of South African users, together with users in other territories where Ukash has a presence, the opportunity to load their mig33 mobile accounts with electronic cash, without the need for bank transfers, card transactions or premium SMS.
Members simply exchange their rands for a Ukash voucher in any one of several thousand retail points of sale in South Africa, including Pick n Pay, and then redeem the vouchers in mig33.
The loading of mig33 accounts is offered with a MSC-developed mobile wallet, which is a secure stored value environment for non-banking transactions. It provides functionality such as multiple accounts per user, currencies, transfers, transactional history reporting and audit trails.
Mark Chirnside, CEO of Ukash, says: "We're excited to be working with mig33 and this is an important milestone for both companies. We see immense potential in m-commerce worldwide and a way to encourage growth is by getting rid of payment restrictions. Mobile users no longer need to own a bank account, credit card or pay premium rates to enjoy mobile services like mig33."
mig33 is a global mobile community delivering communications and entertainment services to its more than 18-million members around the world, with instant messaging, chat rooms, e-mail, profiles and photo sharing. In addition to these free services, there are chargeable premium services including rich emoticons, virtual gifts, special chat room features, SMS, international calls and mobile content such as ringtones and wallpapers.
Steve Boom, CEO of mig33, says: "As we add new and engaging services to mig33, many of which are chargeable and require mig33 credits, we continue to look for new and easy-to-use payment solutions for our users. Ukash will allow our users anonymity, flexibility and convenience when purchasing prepaid vouchers for mig33's premium services."
David Fraser, CTO of Blue Label Telecoms, says: "By leveraging the Blue Label physical footprint of point-of-sale (POS) devices and accessing a common back-end, we are able to provide users with a complete eco system that will allow both 'cash in' and 'cash out' capability to the secure stored value environment. Blue Label Telecoms and its subsidiaries have an extensive global footprint of point-of-sale (POS) devices that currently vend products from a catalogue which includes prepaid airtime, electricity, ticketing and coupons.
"Through Blue Label Telecoms providing the access to POS, the mobile wallet and product catalogues and Ukash providing a payment system, mig33 users can purchase a voucher and get mig33 credits. This makes an off-deck mobile payment solution a reality now in South Africa."