US-based money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc expanded its international money transfer service to Myanmar by forming alliance with three banks in the recently-opened Southeast Asian country.
MoneyGram said its services will be provided through an alliance with three local banks: Asia Green Development (AGD) Bank, Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB) and Tun Foundation Bank (TFB). Grant Lines, Money- Gram senior vice president of Asia Pacific, South Asia and Middle East, called the move an “important step for Money- Gram as we increase our global footprint and make our services available to more customers worldwide.”
“From now on money transfer from all over the carried out conveniently through our network.
MoneyGram will work towards the development of Myanmar’s financial sector and also aims to expand its service in Southeast Asia,” Lines said.
Chairman of AGD Bank U Than Yi said forming an alliance with MoneyGram for international money transfer was “the right decision.”
MoneyGram’s initial services in Myanmar allow consumers to securely receive money through the three banks, which have locations across the country. Myanmar consumers will be able to receive funds from nearly 80 countries including Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and the UK. The company’s money transfer services will be offered in 10 of Myanmar’s 14 states. MoneyGram cited data from the World Bank showing there were more than 510,000 Myanmar immigrants living across the globe in 2010. It is also estimated that about two million former Myanmar residents now work in countries including Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Australia and the US.
MoneyGram said each bank was selected for its reliability and reputation: MCB is a public bank, TFB is almost 20 years old and privately-owned, and the parent company of AGD Bank owns the largest chain of banking businesses in the region.
MoneyGram offers money transfer services worldwide through a global network of 327,000 agent locations – including retailers, international post offices and financial institutions – in nearly 200 countries and territories.
“We believe the penetration into Myanmar validates MoneyGram’s strategic growth policy of exploring growth opportunities and ensuring safe and user-friendly payment solutions across the developing economies in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and African regions,” Zacks Equity Research said in a briefing note. Since tourism is a significant revenue driver for Myanmar, it lays incremental growth opportunities for the global money transfer service provider in the future, Zacks Equity added. Myanmar had observed over five decades of military rule. However, the shift toward democracy has now prompted the need to be a part of the globalisation, in order to boost its economic fundamentals.
However, MoneyGram is not the first to foray into this region. In September last year, its arch rival Western Union penetrated the Myanmar markets through an alliance with the Myanmar Oriental Bank.