By Mohammed Waseem
Unistream, the leading Russian money transfer service has launched an electronic wallet to serve their customers better. Previously, they have been using a network of agents for transferring money, just like any other money transfer service. They have operations at over 333,500 locations in over 100 countries. They also have over 200 counters of their own across Russia.
They accept cash transfers, mobile transfers, online transfers, card to cash and card to card transfers. Their transfer charge differs for each country, which usually begins at 1% for most countries and reduces as the amount transferred increases. They have two methods of money transfer: Address-based and non-Address-based (Anywhere transfer). Address-based requires that the sender selects the location where the recipient can collect the money, while in the case of the latter the sender only has to specify the city.
Later last year, Unistream entered the market of electronic payments with a multifunction electronic wallet called Unistream Money. The wallet is expected to be a financial communications hub for customers. This service allows them to manage their expenses from any device with internet access. Payments can be made without opening a bank account. The service has been launched but it is not yet available for use. It shall be available from June 30, 2014. The customers will only be able to make non-address-based transfers up to 100,000 Rubles. The transfers can be cashed out at any of the Unistream locations in the receiving city.
Transfers from one Unistream wallet to another are also free of charge. Transfers can also be made to bank cards and bank accounts, apart from other e-wallets. A standard fee is applicable to such transfers. Users can also make bill payments to over 900 companies, with scope for continuous expansion of this list. The wallets can also be used to repay loans at Russian banks.
Users can top up their Unistream wallets at any of the Unistream service points, which number over 200 across Russia, and at many of Unistream partner banks in Russia and abroad. According to PR.com, users will also be able to top up with bank cards and other e-wallets very soon.
If the user intends to transfer an amount below 15,000 Rubles, he/she will have to visit a Unistream service point for registration and authentication, while users making transfers above 15,000 Rubles are automatically registered and authenticated. I consider this as an act to get maximum first-time transfers.