Aug 062014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Exchange houses and other companies dealing with money start money transfer services as a part of their expansion plans and in order to reach different markets and different segments. And this is expected to be the next step because it is easy for them to start such a service. But how about a retail chain starting a money transfer service?

US retail giant, Walmart has a money transfer service powered by MoneyGram, which allows senders to transfer money around the globe for being collected in just 10 minutes. Walmart has a dedicated page on MoneyGram’s website, from which, senders can directly send money without leaving the website. Senders can also visit a Walmart store in the US or Puerto Rico to transfer money from there. When I checked the fee charged by Walmart and MoneyGram, I was surprised to find that for most transfers were cheaper from Walmart, than MoneyGram, though the provider is the latter.

Walmart to Walmart Money TransferTo quote an example, I checked the transfer fees for transferring USD 2000 to the UK. The fee charged by Walmart is $96.90, while MoneyGram charges $100. The exchange rate is the same. However, when I checked the same amount of transfer to India, I saw a difference of $4 due to the exchange rate, though the fee displayed was $1 lesser than what MoneyGram charged. So, for transfers to a few countries, they deduct fees from the amount of transfer, thus charging it to the recipient. Senders can pay in cash or by debit card, credit card or Walmart MoneyCard.

Walmart also has a store to store money transfer service called ‘Walmart-to-Walmart Money Transfer’, which is powered by Ria. The service allows senders to transfer money from one city in the US or Puerto Rico to another; all stores in the US and Puerto Rico provide this service and it can’t be accessed online. Fees start at $4.5 and senders can choose to pay in cash, with a debit card or Walmart MoneyCard. Even this service makes the money available within 10 minutes. This service, they claim, saves the senders up to 50% on transfer fees.

I won’t be surprised to see a money transfer service owned by Walmart after a few years. They have stores in many countries across the globe; they could use this network to act as a money transfer operator.

Jan 182014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Whenever we choose a money transfer service in order to send money, we look for reviews and experiences of people who have used a particular service, in order to make an informed decision. In this article, I will discuss a few reviews about MoneyGram transfers.

MoneyGram has good customer service in the US and elsewhere. Their customer service staff is friendly and make sure they address the customer’s problem. I have approached them on several occasions and they were a good help. However, opinions are not same for everyone. There are loads of negative opinions about MoneyGram transfers.

MoneyGram Money TransferAll or at least most of the negative experiences are because of wrong choice of agency. It is the agent who creates the image for their service. If the agent provides good service, users say MoneyGram is good and would even recommend it to others, but if the agent does not provide good service, the same opinion is created for MoneyGram, too.

For example, a user transferred money to India and the recipient went to Punjab National Bank to collect it. He approached the branch manager who entered his details and the MTCN on MoneyGram’s online interface. She then said the payment was not approved and he would have to return the next day. He insists that he will go to another agent, but on being told that payment has already been booked and MTCN has been used and no other agent will be able to receive it, he agrees. The recipient returns the next day and realizes that payment was only booked on that day and she had either lied or was not aware of the procedure. This, he says was unprofessional on “MoneyGram’s” part.

Many customers say that the staff is unsupportive and that they don’t help you know what went wrong, when a money transfer fails. A user said that he spent 3 days to get the money transferred, which was promised to be delivered in 10 minutes. He said they refused to help him over email nor did they call him.

Some people complained for extra cost, but they mention what is called Cash Advance charged to the credit card company, which is generally $1. Few others disliked MoneyGram’s service because they did not let them continue transfers to Africa and Pakistan. This has to do with policy issues and can’t be helped.

MoneyGram has tied up with Walmart for money transfer. Many users are happy with this service and suggest that one should never use debit cards for making payments to avoid extra charges; instead, they suggest using credit cards as no cash advance is charged on them. I also came across a few examples where MoneyGram showed excellent customer service. For example, when a user transferred money to Turkey, it was not delivered due to a simple spelling error in the recipient’s name. When the sender complained, he received a call from MoneyGram and they offered immediate help. Not only that, they even refunded the service charge because of the delay.

There are both good reviews and bad reviews. However, I believe it all depends on the choice of agency and customer service; they define the business and they portray the company’s image.

Dec 292013
 

Sharon Leslie asked:

i have two money gram money orders totaling $900 even. I want to know if i can put this on a moneygram card so i can transferr money?

Answer:

Sharon, yes it is possible. It is simple, here’s how:

  1. Contact your card provider to obtain a 4 digit receive code and your account number.
  1. Visit the nearest MoneyGram agent and process a MoneyGram Express Payment by giving the details from step 1 and the money you want to load on the card.

moneygram-1024x731

Masud asked:

mr i am bangladesh to russia money gream,
please you bang ladesh perfact addres give me,
i am bangladesh to much money gram agent near go,
but agent told me we are not  send onley we are money gram recived,
please money trans fer agent location give me,
thanks.

Answer:

Masud, if what I have understood from your question is correct, you want to send money from Bangladesh to Russia, but you were told by the local MoneyGram agent that they only receive money for MoneyGram.

I looked for agent locations in Bangladesh who send money. I have found two agents, one in Luxmipur and one in Narayangonj. The addresses are the following:

Location 1:

Haidergonj SME & remittance service CTR

Gazi Super Market (1st Floor) Raidergonj Raipur

Luxmipur, 3700

8801922590812

 

Location 2:

The City Bank Ltd – Nitaigonj

Road Netaiganj 217 b k

Narayangonj, 1400

9713621

May 092013
 

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

1. othel ward wrote:
I sent money to Jessica Hottenstine and would like to know in what city she
picked it up. She said she was out of gas in Fort Wayne after a doctor
appointment but lives in Crawfordsville. Like to see if she lied to me or
not.tracking number is ********. I sent it from Frankfort In. 46041. I sent
20.00 dollars money gram transfer

Answer: Jessica, call the MoneyGram customer service line at 1-800-328-5678 or 1-800-MoneyGram, and ask them what city the money was picked up in. I don’t know if that will tell you if Jessica lied or not, though. If she’s a good friend of yours then maybe you should trust her. If not, then don’t send her any more money.

2. ma.lyka nate wrote:
can i know if this MoneyGram reference number is ready to pick up by reciever
ref:# ********

Answer: malyka, call MoneyGram customer service at 1-800-328-5678 or 1-800-MoneyGram, and ask them if the money was picked up.

3. Patricia Bassett wrote:
I have fraud charges on my debt card through pay pal account I would appreciate
some help on this matter. Thank you

Answer: First, contact Paypal customer support and notify them. Second, contact your bank and ask them to reverse the charges.

Best of luck to all of you. Always protect yourself when it comes to money transfers. Make sure your receiver is who they say they are. Check customer reviews of that seller. If you have any doubt, don’t send the money.

Apr 242013
 

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

A reader named Sarath asks: “How do I become a MoneyGram agent? And please send your contact numbers in Australia?”

Answer: Sarath, thanks for your question. First let’s be clear that this website is not an official MoneyGram website nor are we a money transfer service. Speedy Pay is a blog that focuses on money transfer services and answers questions from people like yourself.

MoneyGram sign

MoneyGram has agents in 200 countries around the world.

It’s interesting you ask this, because I’ve been thinking myself about leasing a small office and getting into the money transfer business myself. It seems like an industry with a low barrier to entry, and a good profit margin. Fill out the paperwork, pay for the license, lease a small space and buy the equipment (which is minimal), and you’re in business.

Most money transfer offices here in the USA also offer advance paycheck loans and other financial services, though I’m not interested in that personally. Other agent locations sell office supplies and gifts, rent mailboxes, ship packages through FedEx or UPS, and provide passport photos or fingerprinting services. If you happen to offer those other services, acting as a MoneyGram agent is a value-added service that may bring more customers into your store.

MoneyGram is the second largest remittance company worldwide, with over 300,000 agent locations in 200 countries. They provide new agents with training, equipment and software, and of course they carry out global marketing to bring in customers.

If you want to apply to become a MoneyGram agent, fill out this form on the MoneyGram website:

MoneyGram agent interest form

A MoneyGram representative will contact you to discuss your eligibility. If they find you to be a good candidate, they will make an appointment to visit you in person and discuss your application in detail. They will also send you an application form to fill out before they visit you, so you should have that ready for the MoneyGram representative when you meet.

They MoneyGram rep will also request that you prepare some documentation for your meeting. The precise documents requested will depend on your location (what country you are in), but typically you’d be asked to provide your business license, your company accounts (income and expenses) and records of any debt that you owe. MoneyGram will also run a credit check on your business.

If all that seems like a lot, perhaps it is, but the money transfer business is under a high level of scrutiny in this age of fraud, scams and terrorism. MoneyGram wants to be sure they are dealing with a reputable, licensed and profitable business that is not going to abuse their service or give them a bad name.

If everything meets MoneyGram’s approval, you will negotiate terms with them, sign their paperwork, and voila! You are a MoneyGram agent. At that point you will complete their agent training program and begin offering MoneyGram transfers to your customers. MoneyGram will also provide you with promotional material to display in your place of business.

Good luck and may your MoneyGram venture bring you success and prosperity.

Oct 052012
 

By Renee D. for SpeedyPay.info

Money transfer services have been around for many years but because of fraudulent acts in more recent times (for example people selling non-existent products online and receiving funds by Western Union), many people now question the integrity of companies that offer these services.

Even though some companies should be avoided for one reason or another, there are still a number of viable options for sending and receiving funds via the internet. In this article, we wanted to provide an overview of what money transfer services entail, as well as a few examples of key benefits and red flags that should be heeded.

What are Money Transfers?

Risks and benefits of money transfer services.

Risks and benefits of money transfer services.

While most people have a good idea of what money transfers are, we felt a brief description was necessary. In simple terms, this type of service acts as a “middleman” between one party that sends money online and another party that receives it. Today, virtually everything is done using the internet, to include various types of financial transactions. Because of this, new opportunities have been created that are beneficial but on the other hand, there is potential for risk.

Because of advancements in technology, transfers can now be completed using different types of devices. For example, Western Union transfers initially required an individual to visit a local store or branch in order to complete the appropriate paperwork.

However, money can now be sent and received using a money transfer service via computer or cell phone. Although this makes things easier and more convenient, it also creates unique challenges.

Benefits of Transfer Services

There are actually many reasons that services of this kind are beneficial. Obviously, the benefits of sending and receiving money online would be unique to the individual or organization but overall, these services provide many of the same benefits to include those listed below.

  • Services are available to large corporations, small mom and pop shops, and individuals alike.
  • Financial transactions can be completed for a variety of reasons such as making a purchase from an overseas company, paying an employee who works in a remote location, and taking care of an emergency in a different geographic area.
  • Money transfers are completed much faster than payments made with a check and in fact, most transfers are instantaneous.
  • Exposure of personal financial information to include credit card numbers is eliminated, thereby preventing identity theft and financial loss.
  • Reputable money transfer services use discretion and secured servers, but also provide a guarantee that information will never be shared or sold.

Potential Risks of Money Transfers

As mentioned, along with benefits of money transfer services are several potential risks of which a person should be aware. Keep in mind that while risks exist for transfers that occur on a national level, the greatest risks involve international transfers. Below we listed some examples of things that could go wrong if a dishonest company were used to send or receive money online.

  • Loss Protection – Unfortunately, many transfer services do not provide any type of protection against loss that might occur. Even though actual cash is not being placed in an envelope and mailed, transferring money is really no different in most instances. Scams – Someone requesting money could actually be committing a fraudulent act. Most transactions involve honest parties but with money transfers being so common and easy to complete, new methods of scamming money out of hard- working and honest people have been devised.
  • Human Error – Someone working for a transfer services company could incorrectly enter a dollar amount, bank account number, sender/recipient information, or some other piece of vital information, thus creating disaster.
  • Poor Security – One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to using money transfer services is not researching and confirming system security. Even with the most high-tech security measures in place, professional hackers can get hold of personal information although somewhat more difficult. However, if a service is handling financial transactions online but without having a robust security system in place, any funds being sent or received would be at risk, not to mention critical personal data about one or both parties.
  • Timing Issues – Most transfers are completed within minutes but a completed transaction could take much longer for systems that run on scheduled batches. A common reason money transfer services are used is to expedite a payment. Therefore, having a transaction that completes past an important deadline would create a serious problem. Now, the same problem could arise if the server on which the transfer company operates were to crash or go down for scheduled maintenance.
  • Unexpected Fees – In exchange for completing a money transfer, some type of fee is paid by the sender. The amount of fees can vary dramatically from one company to another and unfortunately, many are “hidden” in carefully worded text. As a result, the individual sending money to another party ends up being charged a significant amount of money.

Conclusion

There are valid reasons for using money transfer services but before using any company, some degree of research should be conducted to determine terms and rates. In addition, the type of security, as well as any policy specific to guarantee should be determined. While this might not eliminate risks altogether, it would certainly help diminish the chance of something going wrong.

Jun 012012
 

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

A reader named Lilly Yarno recently wrote in with the following question:

“My granddaughter is 2 hours away from home and realized she forgot her purse at home. She needs gas. I sent a $100.00 Moneygram to Walmart and she cant pick up the money because she doesn’t have her drivers license which is in her purse. What can I do to get that money in her hands asap? She lives in Fort Worth, Texas and will be picking up the money in Waco, Texas.”

First of all, I owe Lilly an apology for taking so long to get to this. Lilly, I’d imagine your granddaughter has solved the problem by now, one way or another.

Still, the answer may be helpful to others. I wrote to Moneygram customer service asking them what Lilly’s granddaughter could have done in this situation. I have not received a response yet.

In the meantime, I did a little research online. There seems to be a consensus that you can use a test question and answer instead of ID. When you (the sender) fill out your Moneygram sending form, make up a test question and answer. It could be anything that your receiver would know, like, “What’s the name of your middle son?” Answer: “Jonathan.” You can call your receiver and tell them the test question and answer, just to be sure they get it right.

Some recipients have reported problems when trying to pick up a Moneygram transfer using only the test question, without identification. The clerk may occasionally insist on ID. However, talking to the manager should solve the problem.

UPDATE: I just received a response from MoneyGram customer service. They confirm what I have said. Here’s their response:

“If receiver does not have valid identification to collect funds, sender is welcome to add Test Question (TQ) and Test Answer (TA) to the transaction. Once transaction has a TQ and TA, receiver will have to provide correct answer to the question that sender sets up in order to collect the money.
Sender has to visit any MoneyGram location with the transaction reference number and valid ID in order to add TQ and TA.
There is no extra charge to set up TQ and TA.”

Here’s a sample Moneygram form. If you look carefully you can see the spaces for the test question and answer in the middle:

Moneygram form

Sample Moneygram form

May 152012
 

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

If you’re a foreigner living and working in the USA or some other Western country, and looking for ways to send money to your family back home, you’re in luck. Most Western nations have active and extensive money services markets. So there are plenty of options for sending money overseas. Another benefit of an active money services market is that healthy competition means lower rates for you.

Here are six super tips for finding a money transfer service for overseas remittances. These tips are based loosely on an article by Investopedia, with my own thoughts added in.

1. Banks Are the Best Option

Citibank

Citibank is a good example of an international bank with branches in many foreign nations. This can be a convenient and cheap way to transfer money to family members overseas.

The best and most cost effective choice for sending money to a family member or friend overseas is an international bank with branches in both countries. You could have an account in the USA and grant access to the account to your family member overseas. Or your family member could set up an account, and you could simply deposit money in it. Either way, it will cost nothing at all, and the funds will typically be available the next business day.

Before opening an account, talk to the bank and verify that the branch in your home country and the branch overseas are connected; in other words, that the same account can be accessed from both countries.

2. Paypal is Quick and Affordable

If a bank account with an international bank is not an option, Paypal is not a bad second choice.  Paypal’s money transfers are instant, and quite affordable (in fact, when sending money from one account in the U.S. to another, they are free).

3. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Start comparison shopping well in advance of when you need to send the money. Talk to the banks about their rates for international wire transfers. Look at affordable options like Paypal and Xoom. Check out specialized remittance agencies that serve the part of the world to which you want to send your money. Find a service that is affordable and reliable.

The problem comes when people don’t do their research, and all of a sudden they have to send money right away. Then they go to one of the ubiquitous and well known money transfer agencies like Western Union or MoneyGram. Don’t get me wrong, these services are extremely reliable, and have agents in every country of the world. But they are not cheap! For example, a $500 Western Union transfer to Mexico will cost $14 if you visit an agent in person. If you send transfers every month, those fees add up.

For last minute transfers, Paypal would again be the cheapest option if it is available in both countries.

4. Send More Money, Less Often (Rather than Less Money, More Often)

It’s often cheaper to send larger amounts of money than smaller amounts (cheaper in terms of the percentage of your transfer amount that you pay in fees – not in total dollars).

For example, if you wanted to use Western Union to send $100 (American dollars) from Los Angeles, California, to Indonesia, it would cost you $15 in fees. If you wanted your recipient to pocket $100, you’d have to pay $115. Let’s say you walked into a Western Union shop every week for nine weeks, and every week you sent $100. You’d end up paying $135 in fees.

On the other hand, if you sent the $900 all at one go by Western Union, the fee would be only $68.

So it’s much cheaper to send large amounts. It pays therefore to plan ahead, save the money you need to send, and send it in a large lump sum.

5. Shop Around

It’s easy and affordable to send remittances to very popular destinations, like Mexico (from the US), or India or Pakistan (from the UK). But if you’re sending money to a more remote or less popular destination, you’ll have to do your homework to find an affordable, safe money transfer service. Shop around and compare rates.

6. Know Your Exchange Rates

Some remittance services earn a profit by converting currencies. They might charge a low transfer fee, but ding you on the exchange rate. Before making a money transfer, look up the current exchange rate. Many websites can give you this information. I personally like Yahoo Finance’s currency converter.

Once you’ve checked the current exchange rate, make sure the rate being charged by the money transfer agency, remittance service or bank is close to that.

Be smart with your money, do your homework, and find a service that works for you.

Sep 302011
 
Indian post office at the top of Chamundi Hill, Mysore. Indian post offices will begin offering MoneyGram services.

Indian post office at the top of Chamundi Hill, Mysore. Indian post offices will begin offering MoneyGram services.

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

East Indians living abroad now have a new and convenient way to send money to relatives at home – MoneyGram.

India has one of the largest networks of post offices in the world – not surprising for the world’s second most populous country. In a real coup for MoneyGram, Indian post offices will begin offering MoneyGram services.

This will be a huge boon to the thirty million Indians who live abroad and send remittances home. Much of India’s population lives in rural towns and villages, where banks have only a 5% presence. In the past it has been difficult for Indians abroad to send money to relatives in small villages.

Not that MoneyGram has yet penetrated that market. While India has over 150,000 post offices – ! – the MoneyGram alliance will initially be rolled out in 100 post offices only, in the Indian regions of Delhi, Punjab and Tamil Nadu. If successful, the alliance will be extended to 5,000 post offices in the next three years.

India’s minister of communications and information technology, Shri Kapil Sibal, commenced the start of the agreement by making the first money transfer, from the UAE to Delhi. Sibal noted that 50% of Indians do not have a bank account.

Harsh Lambah, MoneyGram senior regional director for South Asia, said: “MoneyGram’s teaming with India Post reaffirms the company’s commitment to serving its hundreds of thousands of customers in the world’s largest remittance market, and the value MoneyGram brings India Post’s business and customers. Bringing India Post, one of the world’s largest postal services, to our network is very exciting.”

MoneyGram has over 200,000 agent locations all in more than 190 nations. To find a MoneyGram location, use their agent finder here.

MoneyGram Location Finder

Mar 312009
 

A member of the Australian government, Ms Amanda Rishworth MP, has created a website – sendmoneypacific.org – to help Pacific Islanders living in Australia and New Zealand find the best money transfer service to send money back home.

“This is an important tool to help Pacific island workers make informed choices about ways to send money home, and ensure they maximise the value of the remittances they earn while in Australia,” Ms Rishworth said.

Compared to other regions around the world, the cost of sending money home to the Pacific is much higher. The website allows individuals to compare money transfer services in terms of cost, speed and convenience.

This author was shocked to learn that while the global average cost for money transfer is ten percent, for Pacific Islanders it can be 13 to 30 percent. That’s outrageous!

The website provides details and transparent information on the fees and services for key money transfer service providers to several different Pacific Islands. It also uses a “secret shopper” to spot check the validity of information provided on the website.

Information on conducting money transfers to Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu is included on the website.

In addition to the cost comparison service, the website will provide Pacific Islander communities within Australia and New Zealand with a news service, financial information and notice boards. Information from the website will be made available in hard copy for distribution to community groups.

 Posted by at 12:13 am