Everyone has likely found the need to transfer money fast. Money wiring services are the way money’s moved in an instant and the technology continues to make it easier, partly because it’s gone mobile. Have a teen on spring break who just got arrested? Parents can have bail money waiting at the police state before Little Johnny ever feels the cold steel of handcuffs. Have a husband who forgot the Visa on his way out of town this morning? You can have money waiting at the hotel when he arrives. Indeed, money transfers are convenient and have saved a host of folks from neck-deep trouble. Things have just become even easier, too.
Now, MoneyGram has announced its new partnership with Gemalto, a digital security provider, that will allow money transfers from the LinqUs Mobile Money platform. These digital wallets are proof that technology is indeed our best friend. Not only that, but it’s long overdue for the number 2 money wire transfer company in the nation. MoneyGram’s biggesst competitor has had its own version of a digital wallet and corresponding apps for three years. Western Union has done quite well with its digital wallet, too. The MoneyGram addition should give the company a leg up in the business and people are definitely taking notice.
Imagine no more paperwork, waiting in line in a supermarket or WalMart behind other wives whose husbands forgot their wallets on their way to an out of town business meeting – these days, you can send money while you’re waiting in rush hour traffic – provided, of course, you get off the road before logging in. Not only that, but MoneyGram has close to 300,000 locations around the world. And even with the opportunities to move money online, many consumers still opted for the traditional route of bringing cash into a retailer for transfer.
Many are saying the new wallet and app are “game changers”. Makes sense, considering there are more than 6 billion mobile subscriptions, according to The International Telecommunication Union. One company we spoke to on Sunday said the new app combines convenience, safety and versatility.
Our agents are excited and our customers are too. For us, the technology means we’ll be able to offer our customers greater options when they need them most.
We were surprised to learn that moving cash around via our smart phones’ apps is a multi-billion dollar industry; in fact, within the next year, it could amount to a $50 billion shot in the arm to the global economy. It’s growing that fast and the next few years could see the whole industry explode with successful new financial apps.
Last year, ABI Research predicted more than 170 million mobile subscribers would make person to person payments (P2P) or transfers in 2011 – and this type of money moving is growing at a much faster pace than mobile banking (or m-banking for all you techies). And here’s where it gets good – the biggest movers and shakers in P2P transfers? The underbanked and the unbanked. Makes you wonder if banks should be worried.
Another study says money transfers will quickly become more of a mobile effort, meaning we’re going to be using our smartphones to send pizza money to our college teens and this time next year, 15% of money transfers via Money Gram and its competitors will be done with a smartphone app.
Amazon isn’t missing out either –
In the last twelve months, customers around the world have ordered more than $1 billion of products from Amazon using a mobile device,
said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. And those sales are increasing too. So not only are we moving our cash back and forth, we’re increasingly shopping via our smartphones, too.
As we mentioned, the unbanked is a formidable force in this particular financial sector, which, according to some, could be problematic. MoneyGram, along with the other money transfer services have a bit of dilemma on their hands: they need for these companies to hit the right mobile market. This, according to T.K. Keanini, chief research officer at nCircle, a provider of information risk and security performance management solutions, is going to be challenging.
This partnership is very complementary and again, I think picking the right mobile platforms will be important, because the target market is the unbanked and underbanked. I’m guessing this is not the iPhone5 market.
Rest assured, as soon as it’s available, we’ll be testing it out and giving you what our thoughts are on the new financial app. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Do you think this is the new way of moving money? Better still – would you use a wire transfer service to send money? Do you currently bank online using your smartphone? Let us know how it’s working for you.
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