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July 24, 2007updated 04 Apr 2017 1:16pm

Obopay expands with Verizon deal

Verizon, the second-largest US mobile phone operator, has teamed up with US-based mobile payments supplier Obopay to offer the carriers 61 million customers the ability to use their mobile phone as a credit card, make purchases and conduct person-to-person funds transfers.

By Douglas Blakey

Obopay has teamed up with Verizon to offer mobile payments. It has inked deals with the likes of Citibank and AOL and concluded a successful third round of fundraising, as the company bets on m-payments taking off in the US, writes Douglas Blakey

 

Verizon, the second-largest US mobile phone operator, has teamed up with US-based mobile payments supplier Obopay to offer the carrier’s 61 million customers the ability to use their mobile phone as a credit card, make purchases and conduct person-to-person funds transfers.

No annual fee will be charged by Obopay for the facility but customers will pay $0.10 for each transaction once the service goes live on 15 August.

Customers will be required to download the Obopay application to an internet-enabled mobile phone and then visit the Obopay website to deposit money into their account. Once customers have registered, a unique PIN is given to the user to verify all transactions.

Customers will need to use a Java-enabled phone to access the Obopay facility, rather than text messaging as used by competitors such as eBay’s PayPal Mobile and TextPayMe.

The Obopay service comes with a prepaid MasterCard card, which can be used at any affiliated ATM or retailer. Subscribers will be able to check their account balances, collect money owed from other mobile users and view transaction histories.

Obopay will initially run on Verizon mobile phones as an application that can be downloaded from the Verizon’s wireless online catalogue.

To sign up friends, users send cash to prompt others to participate or issue mobile alert invites. As an incentive, Obopay is giving new account holders a $5 bonus when they join up and will also give $5 for each friend signed up by its customers, to a maximum of $500 per customer.

Obopay, which was formed in 2005, has now raised $46 million in venture capital from investors including Citigroup and Société Générale. It has struck similar deals with other mobile operators including Cellular South, Helio and Earthlink. In February this year, the California-based start-up teamed with Citi to launch a pilot person-to-person mobile payment service for credit and debit card customers.

Obopay has also teamed with internet provider AOL to offer money transfers via its instant messaging facility, which extends the range of options for customers to access their account.

“This round of investment brings Obopay to the enviable position of being the best-funded independent mobile payments company in the US and enables us to enhance our branding and marketing efforts as we launch additional partnerships and continue to augment our service offerings,” said Carol Realini, CEO of Obopay, in July following the company’s third round of fundraising, which raised $29 million.

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