MoneyGram International (NYSE:MGIs), a leading money transfer services company, and Visa (NYSE:V) announced today the launch of MoneyGram's first cash-to-Visa account program for remittances from the United States to Mexico.
The program, which is built off of the success of MoneyGram's cash-to-Visa service in Guatemala, allows consumers to visit any of the 35,000 MoneyGram locations in the U.S. to quickly and reliably send funds directly to eligible Visa accounts in Mexico. Recipients in Mexico receive the funds directly to their Visa credit, debit, or prepaid accounts, giving them convenient access to their funds through Visa's global network of millions of merchant acceptance locations and ATMs.
"This program is an excellent example of the power of Visa's network, and our ability to extend Visa's processing capabilities to more people around the world," said Jim McCarthy, Global Head of Product at Visa Inc. "It brings Visa one step closer to realizing our vision of extending the value of fast, secure, reliable and cost-effective payment tools to more consumers in more places. We believe that access to Visa digital currency can be a vital first step towards financial inclusion and a catalyst for economic growth."
According to data from the World Bank, Mexico is the top remittance market in Latin America with an estimated $22.6 billion received in 2010, while claiming the third spot globally after India and China, respectively. As a remittance origination country, the U.S. is the largest in the world, with $48 billion being sent abroad in 2010. The U.S.-to-Mexico corridor is key for MoneyGram and the company has seen transaction volume in the corridor return to growth during the second half of last year.
"This is an exciting development in our push to deliver solutions to help our customers send and receive money any way they want anywhere in the world. We are bringing added convenience and choice to our customers in the U.S., Mexico and around the world," said Pamela H. Patsley, MoneyGram International chairman and chief executive officer. "Our relationship with Visa and ability to leverage its extensive global network provides MoneyGram with access to Visa account holders around the world, and enables us to offer our valuable services to a new segment of customers."
Transactions are initiated by MoneyGram agents and processed through Visa's secure global network, VisaNet. Funds are deposited directly to a recipient's eligible Visa debit, credit or prepaid account in Mexico, with minimal action required by the recipient. Once funds are received in the Visa account, recipients can access the money conveniently anywhere Visa is accepted or withdraw cash at any Visa ATM.