MoneyGram International has acquired Belgian-based Blue Dolphin Financial Services as part of a plan to create its own European network and take advantage of the Payments Services Directive (PSD). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Blue Dolphin, which has 18 branches in Belgium and the Netherlands, has been a MoneyGram agent since 2005, providing a "key" source of remittance to Turkey and several African countries.
Explaining the decision to buy the agent, MoneyGram says the branches "along with the expanded opportunities for payment institutions introduced by the European Union in November" will help it grow in Benelux countries. The US giant already operates branches in France and Germany.
John Hempsey, EVP, Emea and Asia Pacific, MoneyGram, says: "Owning our own network in key European markets has been essential to our growth. Our retail expansion in France was a catalyst for adding eight French-speaking countries across Africa and Oceania since 2008. The recent directive from the EU encourages trade within payments businesses and owning our own network supports our growth in highly regulated countries."
Last year MoneyGram's rival Western Union acquired the money transfer business of European agent Fexco in preparation for the PSD.