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.
To 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.