Metropolitan Commercial Bank Announces New Partnership With MoneyGram

Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. (NYSE: MCB), the holding company for Metropolitan Commercial Bank, recently announced it has formed a partnership with global provider of money transfer services MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) to launch a new debit card deposit service designed to simplify deposit, withdrawal and exchange services for customers.

While sharing more details about the partnership, Mark DeFazio, CEO of Metropolitan Commercial Bank, stated:

“MCB and MoneyGram are well positioned to complement each other’s payments capabilities. We believe this partnership will help to expand our market share and are pleased to offer MoneyGram users another manner in which they can access the banking system through transactions that are efficient, reliable and convenient.”

The duo went on to reveal that the money transfer option allows customers in the U.S. to conveniently send money domestically through the MoneyGram app or through the MoneyGram website to other U.S. recipients’ eligible debit cards. Pricing for the debit card deposit service starts at $1.99 and allows customers to transfer funds to a bank account linked to the eligible debit card at any time, including weekends and holidays.

MoneyGram Teams Up With Visa to Launch New Debit Card Deposit Service

Digital money transfer service MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) announced on Monday it has teamed up with Visa to launch a new debit card service. MoneyGram reported that the money transfer option will allow customers in the U.S. to send money domestically through its mobile app or through its website to other U.S. recipient’s eligible debit cards.

While sharing more details about the service, Alex Holmes, MoneyGram chairman and CEO, stated:

“We strive to create the best possible experience for sending and receiving money, and this new product offering empowers our customers by giving them yet another way to send money to friends and family. And in partnering with Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, we’re providing our customers with a dependable option that they know and trust.”

Bill Sheley, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Visa Direct, Visa, also commented:

“Visa and MoneyGram share a common goal of providing customers with a fast and reliable way to pay and be paid. By implementing Visa Direct, companies like MoneyGram are able to offer choice, flexibility and peace of mind to customers, knowing that each transaction is backed by the security, reach and capability of Visa’s global payments network.”

MoneyGram went on to add that pricing for the debit card deposit service starts at $1.99 and allows customers to transfer funds to a bank account linked to the eligible debit card at any time, including weekends and holidays. The service is only available in the U.S. so far.

MoneyGram Announces New Partnership With Korean Remittance Startup Sentbe

Digital money transfer service MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) announced on Friday it has formed a new partnership with Korean remittance startup, Sentbe. MoneyGram reported the collaboration between it and Sentbe aligns with MoneyGram’s goal of providing consumers with an expanded range of digital money transfer options.

While sharing more details about the partnership, MoneyGram head of APAC and South AsiaYogesh Sangle, stated:

“Enhancing our product offering in South Korea is a strategic move that accelerates our digital transformation in the region. With an increasing number of foreign residents and growing numbers of working populations from neighboring Asian countries, working with Sentbe will further improve financial inclusion in South Korea and we are proud to share a legacy of customer commitment through this collaboration.”

Alex Choi, CEO of Sentbe, went on to add:

“Innovation that simplifies the money transfer process is our top priority and there is not a more perfect time than now to embark on this move with MoneyGram. We are now in an even better position to meet demand for tech-savvy solutions within this space and look forward to the change this will bring to the diverse community we serve.”

Ripple Announces New Strategic Partnership & $50 Million Stake With Money Transfer Service MoneyGram

Ripple, a provider of enterprise blockchain solutions for payments, announced it has formed a new strategic partnership with money transfer service, MoneyGram. Ripple has also taken a $50 million stake in MoneyGram in a push to deploy XRP. Ripple reported that through the new collaboration, which will have an initial term of two years, it will become MoneyGram’s “key partner” for cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement using digital assets. Ripple also revealed:

“The partnership with Ripple will focus on the xRapid product, a solution for on-demand liquidity, which reduces reliance on pre-funding by enabling money to be sent from one currency and instantly settled in the destination currency. It leverages XRP, the native digital asset of the XRP Ledger, as a real-time bridge between the sending and receiving currencies.”

While sharing more details about the partnership, Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO, stated:

“As the payments industry evolves and matures, it’s imperative that we continue to improve our platform and provide the most effective solution to get funds from point A to point B. Through Ripple’s xRapid product, we will have the ability to instantly settle funds from US dollars to destination currencies on a 24/7 basis, which has the potential to revolutionize our operations and dramatically streamline our global liquidity management.”

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, went on to add:

“This strategic partnership will enable MoneyGram to greatly improve its operations and enable millions of people around the world to benefit from its improved efficiency. This is a huge milestone in helping to transform cross-border payments and I look forward to a long-term, very strategic partnership between our companies.”

MoneyGram currently operates globally in the $600 billion global remittance market, serving millions of customers in more than 200 countries and territories, supporting multiple currencies.

MoneyGram Announces Platform Integration With KyckGlobal to Provide Money Transfer Services For Gig Economy Workers

Digital money transfer service MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) announced last week it has teamed up with fintech KyckGlobal to better serve the large and growing population of gig economy workers in the U.S. by offering cash payments receivables for their work. While sharing details about the partnership, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO, Alex Holmes, stated:

“This partnership is a great example of how we continue to execute our growth strategy to capitalize on the strength of our leading digital and physical network to serve new customers, in new ways. We’re thrilled to partner with another innovative fintech company that seamlessly plugged into our API-driven platform to deliver both choice and convenience for consumers.”

CRO of KyckGlobal, Sam Wheeler, also commented:

“As a result of our partnership with MoneyGram, we can now better serve these workers by providing them with quick and convenient access to receive their hard-earned money in cash.”

MoneyGram’s Head of Digital Revenue, Matt Frye, went on to add:

“Over the last few years, MoneyGram has invested heavily to upgrade its technology infrastructure and build APIs so more companies can quickly integrate into our platform and we can thereby connect more people with our award-winning services. We’re thrilled to announce this partnership with KyckGlobal, and we look forward to growing this relationship and others in the months and years ahead.”

MoneyGram offers person-to-person money transfer and payment services in more than 200 countries and territories through a global network of approximately 350,000 locations, working with retailers, international post offices and banks.

MoneyGram & GCash Launch Money Transfer Service in the Philippines

Just a little over a month after announcing it was extended its digital money transfer services in five new countries, MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) announced it has joined forces with GCash to launch a new money transfer service to more than 10 million GCash mobile wallets in the Philippines.

According to MoneyGram, Funds may be sent through MoneyGram online or at any one of MoneyGram’s thousands of locations in 200 countries and territories around the world to reach a GCash mobile wallet. The funds will then be deposited into the mobile wallet in the Philippine Peso and receivers will get an SMS notification of every incoming money transfer and will be able to use funds instantly for purchasing goods and services online or paying bills.

Alex Holmes, MoneyGram’s Chairman and CEO, stated that the expansion of digital channels combined with a strong network of agent locations. It enables MoneyGram to offer a differentiated customer experience that allows consumers to transact with us their way. Anthony Thomas, President and CEO of Mynt, the operator of GCash, added:

“The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families are a big segment of the remittance business as well as a key contributor to the country’s economy. We need to do more for them and we think this partnership with MoneyGram leads us to that direction.”

The OFW Family Card will be awarded to each registered and verified GCash user who receives a minimum of PHP 500 via MoneyGram between September 15 and December 30.

MoneyGram Expands Digital Money Transfer Services in Five New Countries

MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) recently announced it is extending its digital money transfer services in five new countries. According to MoneyGram, customers in Australiathe NetherlandsBelgiumPortugal, and Austria may now send money 24/7 directly to more than two billion bank accounts and mobile wallets or to any MoneyGram location in over 200 countries and territories. While sharing details about the expansion, Alex Holmes, Chairman and CEO of MoneyGram, stated:

“Innovative technology is changing the way we meet our customer’s financial needs. In 2018 and beyond MoneyGram will continue to accelerate our digital expansion around the globe. We want to give MoneyGram customers more choice when they use money transfer services and to ensure we are well positioned to compete in today’s fast-paced world.”

MoneyGram also noted its investment into new digital platforms is delivering tangible results. In the first quarter of 2018, digital revenue represented 16 percent of total money transfer revenue. At the same time, Moneygram revenue grew 21 percent primarily from new customer acquisitions following the successful launch in Spain and France.

MoneyGram offers features such as the ability to find a convenient location, check the status of transactions, and estimate online and offline transfer fees. The platform is currently available to customers in the U.S., the UK, GermanyFranceSpainAustraliathe NetherlandsBelgiumPortugal, and Austria.

Walmart Launches Global Money Transfer Service “Walmart2World”

On Tuesday, retail giant Walmart announced the launch of its new global wire service, Walmart2World. The company revealed that four years ago it changed the “money transfer game” with the introduction of Walmart2Walmart, which is a domestic money transfer service that offered lower cost, which has reportedly saved customers nearly $700 million in fees. Walmart notably teamed up with Moneygram on the service. 

While sharing more details about the new transfer service, Kirsty Ward, Vice President of Walmart Services, stated:

“We think sending money should cost the same regardless of where you send it; that’s why we’ve designed a brand new global wire service to send money to 200 countries with a consistently low fee. There are millions of people sending money around the world to help loved ones with everyday needs or in times of emergency. Walmart2World, Powered by Moneygram helps customers get money to family and friends across the world in minutes, and the new low fees mean more of their hard-earned cash goes where it’s needed most.”

Currently scheduled to launch in all 4,700 U.S. Walmart stores this month, Walmart2World’s key features are:

  • Unique Pricing Structure: Wherever customers are in the United States, and to wherever they are sending money, the new, low fees for Walmart2World are the same – $4 to send up to $50, $8 to send $51 to $1,000, and $16 to send $1,001 to $2,500. This is unlike other international transfer services that change the fee to transfer money based on where sender and/or receiver are located.
  • Highly Competitive Exchange Rates: Walmart is committed to ensuring customers receive a more competitive foreign exchange rate when transferring money using Walmart2World. The new Walmart2World low fees, combined with these great exchange rates deliver incredible value for international sends.
  • Delivery Within Minutes to Worldwide Network: Compared to other international wire services that can take up to three days, Walmart2World will deliver funds in 10 minutes or less, whether the receiver opts to pick up the money at any one of MoneyGram’s agent locations in 200 countries, or an international bank or mobile wallet account.

Alex Holmes, MoneyGram’s CEO, also commented:

“Walmart2World is a powerful platform that allows customers to send money from Walmart in the U.S. to any MoneyGram agent location in 200 countries. The new product demonstrates our shared commitment to ensuring our customers receive the financial services they depend on at an outstanding value.”

Walmart added that customers using Walmart2World may also save time by using Mobile Express Money Services in the Walmart App. After a quick, one-time set-up, customers initiate their transfer from the Walmart App, and once at the store, fast-track through the Mobile Express Lane to quickly complete their transaction. Receipts and transaction details are saved electronically, helping to make future transactions even faster and easier.

Shut Down: Alibaba’s Ant Financial Blocked by US Government on Acquisition of MoneyGram

Ant Financial, part of tech conglomerate Alibaba, announced its intent to purchase MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI)  a year ago. The acquisition would have combined MoneyGram’s money transfer network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts with Alibaba’s fast growing global Fintech presence. MoneyGram is currently active in approximately 200 countries around the world. This week it was revealed that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), part of the US Treasury Department, has rejected the $1.2 billion acquisition.

MoneyGram CEO Alex Holme commented on Treasury’s decision;

“Despite our best efforts to work cooperatively with the U.S. government, it has now become clear that CFIUS will not approve this merger. While we are disappointed by this outcome, we are confident in the future of MoneyGram and are excited about the benefits of our future cooperation with Ant Financial. By increasing access to digitally enabled customer wallets on the receiving side, we will be able to reduce distribution costs and improve transaction processing time. Together with Ant Financial, we hope to be the preferred money transfer option globally, and we look forward to bringing the considerable benefits of this collaboration to all of our stakeholders, including stockholders, customers, agents and employees.”

Doug Feagin, President of Ant Financial International, added;

“We remain excited and encouraged about Ant Financial’s future prospects around the world as we continue to establish new partnerships and pursue opportunities that bring innovative services to our ecosystem. Establishing this new strategic cooperation with MoneyGram will add a partner with global remittance capabilities to our ecosystem and, while Ant Financial won’t have a direct ownership relationship with MoneyGram, we look forward to working closely with the MoneyGram team to make our platform even more accessible – particularly to unbanked and underserved communities globally – and create even better experiences for our customers.”

Alibaba’s approach to financial services has been widely described as the model for the future of finance. Backed by a plethora of consumer and business services that provides access to deep data, Alibaba has been able to launch numerous Fintech verticals that provide effective services in a mobile first environment. Alibaba has been better able to compete globally than US based tech firms due to stifling regulation that protects legacy finance while undermining competition and the ability for new services to evolve.



Alibaba’s Ant Financial Increases Bid for MoneyGram

Dallas based MoneyGram (NASDAQ:MGI), a global provider of money transfer services, has become quite popular. This past January, Alibaba’s Ant Financial subsidiary announced it had offered the firm $13.25 per share to acquire the company. The two companies had entered into a definitive agreement to merge.  Today, it appears that agreement was not quite as definitive as thought as Ant Financial has now increased the share offer to $18/share.

Last night, MoneyGram and Ant Financial announced they had updated the agreement in an effort to fend off a competing bid by Kansas based Euronet Worldwide. Euronet was also raising questions about whether or not a merger between MoneyGram and Ant Financial would be approved in the current political environment.  The MoneyGram Board of Directors quickly approved the amended agreement that comes in at a whopping 64% share premium versus the average share price over the past three months ended January 25, 2017.  The transaction is valued at approximately $1.204 billin million for all of MoneyGram’s common and preferred shares on a fully diluted basis. Ant Financial will also assume or refinance MoneyGram’s outstanding debt.

Pamela Patsley, executive chairman of MoneyGram, said the Board has been “laser focused” on maximizing shareholder value;

“We are pleased to offer even more value to our stockholders through the amendment of our merger agreement with Ant Financial,” said Patsley. “We continue to be excited about the transaction, which we are confident will provide substantial benefits to all of our stakeholders, including stockholders, customers, agents and employees.”

On the side of Ant Financial, Doug Feagin, President of Ant, said they look forward to merging capabilities as Ant currently serves more than 630 million users globally.

The two firms reported they have “made significant progress” toward gaining regulatory approval for the acquisition. Shareholder approval is also required and the companies expect the deal to close in the second half of this year.

Payments and money-transfer services is a red-hot sector of Fintech. As financial transactions quickly become digital, Alibaba is leading the pack in scooping up services and forming partnerships. Just last week, Ant Financial formed a Joint Venture in Indonesia to offer payments and financial services in the company. Alibaba has taken a holistic approach to Fintech understanding the fact that customer acquisition is key to growth and merging or working with other firms can quickly rocket its services ahead of other industry participants.

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Acquires US Based MoneyGram

China’s richest man, Jack Ma, has boosted his USA presence with the acquisition of MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI) – a Dallas-based money transfer service. Ant Financial Services Group, part of the fast-growing Alibaba Group and parent of AliPay, has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase MoneyGram at $13.25 per share or a valuation of $880 million.  MoneyGram shares rose over 9% to just over $13/share on the news.

The stragic acquisition will connect MoneyGram’s money transfer network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts and 350,000 physical locations with Ant Financial’s users, who may use a broad suite of technology-based financial services, including payments, credit and insurance products. The combination will provide consumers in over 200 countries and territories with financial services, thus furthering Ant Financial’s objective to become the leading platform of its kind in the world.

Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial, called the purchase a significant milestone in their mission to be a global provider of Fintech services.

“We believe financial services should be simple, low-cost and accessible to the many, not the few. The combination of Ant Financial and MoneyGram will provide greater access, security and simplicity for people around the world to remit funds, especially in major economies such as the United States, China, India, Mexico and the Philippines. One of MoneyGram’s greatest strengths is its high-quality team of employees. We are committed to continuing to invest in MoneyGram’s workforce and growing jobs in the United States, where MoneyGram has made a mark with outstanding customer service, innovative products and industry-leading technology and compliance programs.”

CEO of MoneyGram, Alex Holmes, said the sale will benefit consumers throughout the world and will help MoneyGram expand its reach and provide more services.

“Ant Financial is an ideal partner for MoneyGram; together, we will be able to expand our business and, in doing so, offer more people around the world access to a reliable financial connection to loved ones.”

Holmes will remain as CEO for the foreseeable future and the MoneyGram brand will be maintained.

Parent company Alibaba just released quarterly results that delivered solid growth as it continues to grow its base in China while broadening its services to a global audience.  In many ways, Alibaba has achieved iconic status with its vision and drive to become the global leader in creating a dominant internet ecosystem.