MoneyGram International (NYSE: MGI) today announced that in 2008 the company added 13 countries and territories and more than 33,000 locations to its global network, helping people and communities around the world by providing more convenient choices for safe and reliable money transfer services.
"Our continued growth-both international and domestic-is a reflection of growing consumer demand, fueled by ongoing global migration trends and our ability to deliver value to our customers and agents across the globe," said Tony Ryan, MoneyGram chief operating officer and executive vice president.
"MoneyGram's diverse, global agent network is our competitive advantage," said Ryan. "We will continue to invest in strategic growth by adding agent locations in key growth areas as well as expanding existing agent relationships, and growing our owned-retail presence."
In 2006, in response to business and market needs, MoneyGram launched its owned-retail strategy in France and Germany, and today operates more than 50 stores and kiosks in high-traffic areas in immigrant communities. Half of the countries joining MoneyGram's network last year are French-speaking, reflecting the company's commitment to serving the needs of France's large immigrant population. According to the World Bank, France is a top-five immigration country with 6.5 million immigrants.
"Our growth in France was vital to adding Algeria, which according to the World Bank, produced the largest influx of immigrants into the country," Ryan said. "Today, we have stronger prospects in the country for expansion through more traditional agent locations."
Germany is a similar success story for MoneyGram. The company established service to Serbia this year, which produces a high volume of immigrants to the country. MoneyGram has 30 owned locations strategically located in Germany.
"Network breeds network and feeds both expansions to new countries and increased locations in key areas around the globe," Ryan said. "The more we grow, the more interested retailers, post offices and financial institutions are in seeking our service to expand and grow their own businesses and offer more services to their customers."
Countries and territories added to MoneyGram's global network include the French-speaking Algeria, Central African Republic, Comoros, French Polynesia, Gabon, Madagascar and New Caledonia. Other countries include Angola, Bermuda, Bhutan, Czech Republic, Serbia, and Slovenia.