National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has partnered with MoneyGram International to launch international money transfer via mobile phones.

Almost two years after NBAD introduced its mobile phone money transfer and payment service Arrow, the bank has integrated Arrow with MoneyGram to enable consumers to transfer funds directly from their NBAD or a prepaid account to persons outside the UAE via mobile phones.

The expansion of the Arrow service to international remittances with MoneyGram constitutes the third phase of enhancement and improvement to Arrow. In the first phase, introduced in November 2008, Arrow allowed customers to access their bank accounts via mobile phones to pay, send, and receive money domestically 24 hours a day.

According to NBAD, Arrow money transfers, including MoneyGram international remittances, can be carried out from a current account and prepaid cards.

The partnership gives MoneyGram access to NBAD’s account holders in the UAE and extends money transfer services to a new category of consumers.

Saif Al Shehhi, senior general manager of domestic banking division at NBAD, said: “We worked very methodically for more than a year with our partners to fine-tune the Arrow service to ready it for consumers to use it to conduct international remittances. NBAD understands a key component to delivering quality service is by being a leader in innovation. The Arrow mobile phone payment service and its expansion into international remittance is another example of NBAD’s innovative leadership in the market place.”

Richard Meredith, regional director for Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan at MoneyGram, said: “This new partnership with NBAD will start to define the use of mobile remittances in the UAE as well as the region. This service demonstrates one of MoneyGram’s core values in making remittances convenient.”