Credit card firm MasterCard is to launch a new person-to-person (P2P) mobile payment platform for its card-issuing banks in the US later this month. The new service – known as MoneySend – will allow MasterCard’s partner banks to offer their customers a way to send and receive funds via SMS, mobile browser, mobile applet or a PC. Initially, consumers will be able to use MoneySend with a MasterCard prepaid card issued by Bancorp Bank. However, MasterCard said that as additional card-issuing banks enrol in the scheme, their customers will be able to use MoneySend with their everyday accounts, including MasterCard debit, credit, prepaid or checking/current accounts.

Senders can transfer funds to any domestic (US) mobile phone number via SMS, mobile Web browser or a downloadable application. Upon initiation of the transfer, the sender approves the request by entering a PIN only known to the account holder. The recipient then receives a text message confirmation of the transfer (for pre-registered users) or that the transfer is pending (for yet-to-be registered users). The funds can then be accessed by the recipient through an account designated during the registration process. The US launch follows the successful rollout of the service elsewhere in the world, where it is available in 17 countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, and the Philippines.