MoneyGram International (NYSE: MGI), a leading global money transfer company, announced today it has expanded its new direct-to-account (or cash-to-account) money transfer service with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), to MoneyGram customers sending money from Japan to China.
ICBC is one of the largest banks in China, with a nationwide network of locations and more than 200 million accounts.
When the sent funds are deposited, ICBC account holders can withdraw the cash from thousands of ICBC locations across China, or exchange the funds into local currency and take RMB cash from 40,000-plus ATMs in China. ICBC has been a MoneyGram agent since 1995 and has more than 1,500 locations offering MoneyGram service in about 400 cities.
"We know it's important to our MoneyGram customers who are sending and receiving money to have the additional option to deposit the funds directly and quickly into an ICBC account," said Nick Cunnew, MoneyGram vice president of the Asia Pacific region.
The MoneyGram direct-to-account service is being marketed in conjunction with MoneyGram's Japanese agents, SBI Remit (http://www.remit.co.jp/) and Unidos Co. Ltd. (http://kyodairemittance.com/) in locations near large populations of Chinese immigrants and migrant workers. According to the Japan Institute of Labor Policy and Training, Chinese immigrants comprise nearly a quarter of all migrant workers in Japan.
According to the World Bank, China received more than $57 billion in remittances in 2011, making it the world's second-largest receiver of money transfers. Japan is among the top 20 remittance sending countries.
According to ICBC, adding the cash-to-account product is a strong manifestation of the company's commitment to better serve the needs of Chinese overseas and their beneficiaries in China. ICBC's partnership with MoneyGram boosts the company's efforts to reach more of the Chinese living abroad, especially in Japan.