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Obopay, STAR Network Launch Real-Time Mobile Payments Service

Mobile payment provider Obopay and STAR Network announced today a partnership which enables real-time transfers between STAR accounts within Obopay's Mobile Money for Banks.

The new capability is said to be faster than ACH payments, and allows immediate payments between customers regardless of bank using STAR's network as a backbone.

"We really do see huge potential for this, and STAR gets that connectivity to a very large number of cardholders and bank accounts," says David Schwartz, Obopay head of corporate and produce marketing. "From what we’ve seen in the market, people really are looking for this and the timing is right."

Financial institutions can use the service to allow customers to send money using their mobile phones. Schwartz says banks can integrate the service with their own branding, and that transactions take place by the payor entering a payee's name, phone number and amount to be paid.

It is available across STAR member financial institutions and debit card processing solutions, which includes some 4,800 members and about 80 million debit card accounts, says Julie Saville, vice president, Product Management for the STAR Network.

"With our backend infrastructure and realtime capability, and everything Obopay has built on the front end, we just think it’s going to be really exciting," she says.

Saville adds that since STAR enabled a real-time payment capability — dubbed STAR Expedited Transfer — into its network in 2008, there has been interest in how financial institutions could use it; Obopay was the first to build a payment platform that could connect STAR member financial institutions to the service.

Schwartz says banks can have the service up and running within as little as 30 days.

"From our perspective we really see it as very complimentary offerings that fit very well together," Schwartz says.

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