MoneyGram International, headquartered in Dallas Texas, is a money transfer company based in the United States with offices around the world. MoneyGram International is the result of a merger of Travelers Express, founded in 1940, with Integrated Payment Systems Inc.
MoneyGram is the second largest provider of money transfers in the world. The company operates in more than 200 countries with a global network of more than 350,000 agent offices. MoneyGram’s annual revenue is $1.45 billion.
By 2006, MoneyGram International had expanded internationally in regions such as the Asian-Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Central America. The company had also introduced additional services such as bill payment and online money transfers.
MoneyGram businesses are divided into two categories: Global Funds Transfers and Financial Paper Products. MoneyGram has been in business long before the advent of electronic transfers, and build its business through agent offices which aren’t compatible with the modern currency transfer structure. MoneyGram has adapted, but still depends on processes that are outdated.
The company works with individuals and businesses through networks of agents and financial institution customers. In 2015, the company’s agent network in Africa reached 25,000 locations.
Security Violations: In 2012, MoneyGram International admitted to anti-money laundering and wire fraud violations after MoneyGram services were used by unrelated parties involved in mass marketing and consumer scams that defrauded thousands of US victims MoneyGram created a $100 million victim compensation fund as part of settlement. In February 2016, MoneyGram agreed to pay $13 million to end a money transfer probe.
Fees: 12% on exchanges under $100 USD
Scant services are listed on MoneyGram’s homepage which funnels visitors to immediately select a region from which they’ll be sending a transfer. One half of this page is dedicated to Scam Awareness Alliance, a non-profit organization MoneyGram founded that seeks to educate Americans about scams in order to help them avoid becoming victims of them as had happened with MoneyGram previously. No currency calculator combined with no hint of any best rate guarantee is very off-putting. This is a corporate machine at its coldest and most unapproachable state. There’s not any hope of generating a connection with any visitor, in spite of the company’s flouting its charitable donations of over $4 million.
US Consumer Affairs Department rates MoneyGram 1 out of 5 Stars with 319 reviews detailing very similar issues. Problems begin with online transfer errors due to MoneyGram’s website altering information, ie: transfer to be sent to Alabama, US is auto corrected to Albania. Clients unable to get funds for a typical 11 day period are also unable to find English speaking customer support service. Very poorly rated service is reported by almost 100% of reviewers.
TRUSTPILOT rated Bad:2.4 with only 24 reviews, of which almost all were complaints about very poor service, especially customer service telephone calls to resolve issues. MoneyGram frequently made errors which kept transfer funds from being processed and weren’t helpful by email or phone with seeking bank refunds. The worst reviews of any transfer company on TRUSTPILOT are MoneyGram’s.
Compared to Western Union, MoneyGram seems like the industry standard. Ubiquitous vendor locations have convinced shoppers that transfer companies who are large and ever present are trustworthy when the exact opposite is true.
1 out of 5 stars, in sympathy with the unhappy reviewers who regret using MoneyGram.
Huge global reach makes transfers within minutes possible.
Services like money transfers made through kiosks practically guarantee a poor rate of exchange. MoneyGram is profiting from African regions where banking services are under developed.
MoneyGram transactions can be initiated only in the United States and a handful of other countries. 350,000 locations around the world are set up for collecting, not initiating transfers.
Meta- takeaway: Rates don’t matter to MoneyGram- the world’s second largest transfer provider is a global dinosaur unable to adapt to the age of electronic transfers. Global agent offices can’t compete with today’s currency transfer options.