Ericsson and Western Union team to fast track mobile financial services


Global brands Ericsson and Western Union have announced a strategic agreement designed to accelerate the interconnection between the m-commerce ecosystem and the existing financial world.

The first step of this agreement will result in platform integration between the Western Union Mobile Money Transfer network and the Ericsson suite of m-commerce solutions, including Ericsson Converged Wallet, Ericsson Wallet Platform, and Ericsson M-Commerce Interconnect. This will enable mobile networperators to easily include Western Union Mobile Money Transfers in the service suite of their mobile financial service offers.

Ericsson's m-commerce services portfolio is designed to unlock the potential of the wallet, fast track mobile operators' time to market in launching mobile financial services, and support the rapid adoption of m-commerce by their subscribers. The portfolio of services can speed time to revenue, increase adoption and stickiness, cost efficiency and performance for mobile network operators and deliver the technology infrastructure to support an interconnected m-commerce eco-system.

Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson, said: 'With 2012 set to be a year of rapid transition and dynamic change across the m-commerce industry, operators and financial institutions have a chance to evolve their role and meet consumer needs and expectations in new ways. Our business ambition is to accelerate access and interconnection between the m-commerce ecosystem and the existing financial world. Through this agreement with Western Union, we are helping mobile network operators and financial institutions get closer to their customers with differentiated wallet services that connect and add value to their consumers.'

Diane Scott, executive vice president and chief marketing officer and president, Western Union Ventures, went onstage, and said: 'M-commerce has the ability to bring transaction services to people around the world. There are 1.6 billion subscribers today who have access to pre-pay and post-pay accounts through Ericsson; the nest stage is to transfer those into mobile wallets.

'One of the biggest challenges in wallets is to get people to convert to and fund those wallets, but that is something we can do,' continued Scott. 'Our goal at Western Union in partnering with Ericsson is connecting our customers whereever they might be, and on mobile phones, because that is where this market is going.'

By joining forces with Western Union for these services, mobile operators can connect their accounts easily and simply to the world's premier money transfer network of more than 450,000 agent locations across 200 countries and territories. This enables account holders to easily send and receive money transfers globally.

In integrating Western Union's services and Ericsson platforms, mobile network operators will be able to further accelerate their launch of mobile financial services. Operators rolling out services using the Ericsson M-Commerce solutions will be able to quickly and easily deploy Western Union Mobile Money Transfer services as well, essentially 'out of the box' when they contract with Western Union.

Ericsson and Western Union will next jointly explore strategic collaborations to further simplify the establishment of mobile financial services by mobile network operators.


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