The service - offered via MasterCard's P2P money transfer system MoneySend - will enable issuing banks to provide a mobile payments service to cardholders on all credit, debit and prepaid MasterCard-branded products.
MasterCard says the system lets registered cardholders securely send and receive funds through any mobile phone. Participants will use mobile numbers to send and receive funds, keeping their payment account numbers private.
Art Kranzley, chief emerging technology officer, MasterCard Worldwide, says: "The power and breadth of the MasterCard network combined with the account relationships of MasterCard issuers and Obopay's mobile payment technology enable us to offer valuable new services for consumers throughout the US, allowing consumers to easily transfer funds to their friends and families."
"With more consumers clamouring for services that fit their mobile lifestyles, we're confident that MasterCard cardholders will welcome the option of quickly and easily sending money to other cardholders via mobile phone," adds Gregory Holmes, president, US-based operations, Obopay.
MasterCard cites research from TowerGroup which estimates that in the US adoption of consumer mobile banking has surged in the past 12 months from 1.1 million active users in 2007 to 5.7 million today. TowerGroup predicts the numbers will continue to soar, hitting 10.4 million by 2009, 18.7 million in 2010, 29 million in 2011 and 40.9 million in 2012.
The firm is also targeting international payments and last year revealed plans to work with GSM wireless network operators to pilot a remittance system using mobile payments technology.
The pilot brings together the MasterCard MoneySend system, and the mobile phone operators of the GSM Association and is targeted at people without access to traditional bank accounts and other banking infrastructure.