MoneyGram (MGI) Expands in Philippines via PayMaya, Visa Direct

MoneyGram International, Inc. MGI has partnered with PayMaya Philippines to launch a digital capability. This new digital service will enable customers to send money from the United States to the Philippines through Visa Direct, Visa's real-time push-payment solution.

Consumers in the United States can use the leading MoneyGram mobile app or website to send money on a real time basis to any PayMaya Visa cardholder located in the Philippines.

Visa Direct, Visa's real-time push payment solution has been instrumental in developing MoneyGram’s digital money transfer platform over the last few years. The latest integration with PayMaya will further improve the customer experience and drive digital growth.

MoneyGram’s expansion in Philippines will help it get a greater share of the vast  money remittance market Per BSP data, Overseas Filipino Workers made a total of US$11 billion for US-based remittances in 2019 while money transfers from the United States contributed close to 40% of total remittances in the Philippines.

Also, the adoption of this service will be easy for customers since a majority of Visa debit and prepaid cards are backed by Visa Direct. The service will facilitate hassle-free money transfer across the two nations.

MoneyGram has been working vigorously in recent years to develop its digital money transfer platform, driven by the urgent need to stay ahead in the payments industry, which is witnessing a rapid shift to the digital mode.

The company recently announced that its online platform has been gaining traction from strong customer demand, driven by its digital capabilities. This upside led to robust digital transaction growth for the company in September. With the cross-border business uptick in September, MoneyGram's business momentum witnesses the ninth consecutive month of triple-digit cross-border transaction growth in its direct-to-consumer digital business, MoneyGram Online.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the company’s digital transactions got an added push as more customers opted for digital channels to make payments. This is clearly evident from MoneyGram’s digital unit, which saw a year-over-year surge of 106% in the June quarter, reflecting a steady improvement from 57% growth reported in the March quarter of 2020. The company observed solid demand for its customer-friendly mobile app, high customer retention rates and expansion of the account deposit digital market.

Moreover, a sturdy digital arm bodes well for MoneyGram as its revenues have been declining since 2017 through first-half 2020. Revenues have been affected by a higher compliance control strategy and imposition of restrictions on certain transactions. Total revenues in the second quarter decreased further due to the prevalent pandemic and government-issued shelter-in-place orders, which weighed on the company’s business. Also, strict compliance and heavy investments in business have shot up costs over the years, causing margin erosion.

Via its digital business, the company is entering new markets and continues to attract a completely new customer base.

It began laying the groundwork for its digital transformation four years ago to embrace the rapid changes that followed the proliferation of technology in the remittance industry.

With several fintech players, such as PayPal Holdings, Inc. PYPL, Square Inc SQ and others offering similar services at very affordable rates, competition for MoneyGram has naturally intensified over all these years. Its close peer Western Union Co. WU is also facing the same ordeal and pursuing technological investments to stay within the race.

In the past six months, the stock has soared 192% compared with its industry’s growth of 24.8%.

MoneyGram carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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