MoneyGram International (NYSE:MGI), a global money transfer company, and State Savings Bank of Russian Federation (Sberbank) announce that 8,000 bank branches will begin offering MoneyGram's international money transfer service throughout Russia today.
Launching the service with 8,000 new locations in one day is a significant technological and business undertaking and is a first for an agent of this magnitude. The partnership, which was signed this summer between the global money transfer company and Russia's oldest bank, brings MoneyGram its largest participant of MoneyGram money transfer system in the region and Sberbank's customers a reliable and convenient international money transfer service.
MoneyGram Chairman and CEO Pamela H. Patsley is in Russia today to support the launch of the network and celebrate this significant achievement. Her presence signals MoneyGram's focus on this important remittance country and region.
"We are thrilled to launch this powerful partnership with Sberbank and expect this relationship to bring success to our companies and more value and more choices to money transfer consumers across Russia," said Patsley. "With over 12 million immigrant workers in Russia, the second-largest immigrant population in the world behind the United States, there is huge opportunity for money transfer services. Through our partnership with Sberbank we are sure to meet the demand for international money transfers in this region."
Russia is the third-largest send market for personal remittances in the world after the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. According to the World Bank, $18.6 billion in remittances was sent from the country in 2009. Countries that receive the most in money transfers originating in Russia are Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Ukraine, which complements MoneyGram's extensive network of participants of MoneyGram money transfer system in these receive countries. Russia is also in the top 20 receive countries in remittances with $5 billion USD received in 2009 - with 60 percent of that coming from the United States.
MoneyGram, which has an international network of participants of MoneyGram money transfer system in more than 191 countries, has a strong foothold in key Russia remittance corridors. The company continues to increase its network in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) which has more than 23,000 locations offering MoneyGram money transfer service - with over 9,500 locations in the Ukraine alone. Additionally, MoneyGram offers payout options in both dollar and euro for customers in Russia receiving money from the Eurozone.
"Being able to provide MoneyGram's reliable international money transfers in more than 8,000 branches across Russia is a great achievement and one that we are very proud of," said German Gref, chairman of Sberbank. "Our robust bank system in Russia and MoneyGram's strong network of participants of MoneyGram money transfer system across the globe is an excellent combination that will strengthen both of our companies' reach around the region."