MoneyGram is one of the two big names in international money transfer, the other being Western Union. With branches in over 190 countries, MoneyGram has a huge global footprint – so naturally we were all delighted when it announced that it was throwing itself into mobile services last August. And today we see a result of that declaration, as MoneyGram announces a mobile money transfer service rollout to 40,000 agents in the US.
What’s this now?
This service has been in trial for several months now, with agents in California and Hong Kong offering mobile money transfer to subscribers of the SMART network in the Phillipines. Evidently MoneyGram was pleased with the results, as it has announced that the 40,000 agents in the US is only the beginning – a global rollout of mobile money is to follow.
What is the service?
Powered by a mobile tech company called Mozido, the Phillipines pilot allowed people to send money from any MoneyGram agent to a SMART phone. It is this service that is being rolled out. As Dan O’Malley, Executive VP of MoneyGram for the Americas explains, “our expansion plans to link SMART Money users with MoneyGram’s agent locations around the world. Filipinos around the world continue to look for opportunities to meet their financial needs. Our goal is to provide these workers with the most affordable, reliable and convenient money transfer services, which includes sending funds direct to mobile accounts.”
What we think?
Mobile money transfer for immigrant workers living away from home (especially those from developing or poorer countries) is a major growth area for a lot of companies. Mobile technology not only provides faster and more convenient transfer, but can actually end up being a lot cheaper than traditional services. This isn’t the first time MoneyGram has created a mobile service either – it partnered with Poste Italiane in Italy last year as well, which allows people to send money from their phone to a MoneyGram collecting fund.