MasterCard Inc. said Monday that it has hired Andrew Ong to head its worldwide person-to-person money transfer efforts.

MasterCard is one of several companies that are developing or offering such transfer services, and experts have said the technology is on the verge of becoming a mainstream banking feature.

As group head for MasterCard's global person-to-person payments operations, Ong is in charge of promoting the company's MoneySend service, which lets people send funds across the MasterCard network to and from almost any MasterCard credit or debit account.

He was most recently a regional director for Western Union Co.'s North Asia region.