Thursday, 29 July 2010

MoneyGram International Signs State Savings Bank of the Russian Federation as New Agent

MoneyGram International (NYSE: MGI), a leading global money transfer company, announces it has signed a new agent in Russia, the Savings Bank of the Russian Federation (Sberbank). Sberbank, headquartered in Moscow, is the oldest and largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe and is expected to be MoneyGram’s largest agent in the region. The bank will introduce MoneyGram services initially in more than 7,000 locations with plans to expand to 10,000 bank branches.

“Joining MoneyGram’s international agent network will provide us the opportunity to meet our customer needs by supplementing our services and growing our international money transfer business to CIS and other markets around the world,” said Denis Bugrov, first deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank. “We look forward to a successful partnership with MoneyGram.” Read more

Remittances From Europe Sink Amid Recession

By Brian Blackstone

The 2008/2009 recession took a big bite out of a vital source of cash for some countries: worker remittances from Europe.

According to a Eurostat report, remittance outflows–which come mainly via migrant workers from outside of the EU who send money home–fell in 2009 after growing steadily since 2004.

Remittances to countries outside the EU–which make up about 70% of the total–shrank by 1 billion euros last year to 21.5 billion euros, after nearly doubling between 2004 and 2008. Remittances to other EU countries fell even more sharply. Read more

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

U.S. money transfer firms explore new routes in Asia

Asia, with its large migrant population, promises a huge growth market for U.S. payment service firms, but for pure-play companies like Western Union and MoneyGram International, that's not the end.

They are busy looking for newer avenues ranging from domestic services to mobile transfers as they try and win more customer confidence, even though informal channels rampant in the region pose a big challenge.

That Asian countries are major recipients of remittances is no secret, but apart from inter-continental transfers, the domestic market within Asia, especially in the southeast, is also opening up as more people cross borders within the region for education and in search of jobs. Read more

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

India Post global money transfer comes under ED scanner

NEW DELHI: Global money transfer and banking operations of the country's postal department are being scanned by the Enforcement Directorate and other agencies for suspected terror-financing and Hawala-like transactions.

At present, there are no other official channels, besides the pure banking route, to transfer or receive money from abroad.

The Department of Posts had started this service in association with US-based Western Union Financial Services in April 2001 and customers can send or receive money from 205 countries. Read more

Stiff competition lowers remittance fees by 35% - BSP

Stiff competition among money transfer agents and the entry of players charging low fees brought the cost of money transfers down by as much as 35 percent, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Tuesday.

Market leader Western Union cut its transaction charges by some 35 percent as a new breed of competitors started using mobile technology to their advantage, Bangko Sentral Deputy Gov. Nestor Espenilla Jr. said in an interview with reporters

Western Union is now charging clients as low as P65 per P1,000 of domestic remittances from more than P100, according to Espenilla. Read more

Friday, 2 July 2010

Tongan economy faces year of "extraordinary need"

FACED with continuing drops in remittances and two years of negative growth, Tonga's financial planners have turned to aid donors to support the national budget for the new financial year 2010-11, in order to meet a current deficit of $12.1 million pa'anga, as well as multi-million pa'anga development budget needs.

The National Budget totaling $205.6 million, presented to the Tonga Legislative Assembly on June 14 and passed by the House this week on June 29, underscores the great financial difficulties that Tonga continues to face. Read more

Mexico's Family Remittances Rose 12% In May To $2.13 Billion

MEXICO CITY -(Dow Jones)- Remittances received by Mexicans from family members living abroad grew in May at the fastest pace in nearly four years, the Bank of Mexico said Thursday.

Mexico's family remittances rose 12% in May from a year ago to $2.13 billion, according to data published on the central bank's website.

May was the second consecutive month that remittances rose in annual terms, following a 17-month slide amid the economic recession in the U.S., where the majority of Mexican migrants seek employment. Read more

Thursday, 1 July 2010

E. Europe's migrants and farmilies left behind hit by troubles in richer Western Europe

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Many of Europe's poorest migrant workers are sending less money home — another blow delivered to the continent's east by global economic and financial turmoil.

Probably worst off is Moldova, Europe's poorest country according to the World Bank. There, money sent by people who left to find work made up an astonishing 30 percent of the economy of $6.6 billion (€5.41 billion) just two years ago but fell last year to 22 percent.

The Chicus are a case in point. Like many Moldovans, they realized that they could hardly afford to raise a family from local salaries. Read more