Business News of 2014-04-17

MoneyGram response to ODI report

In case you have seen coverage relating to the ODI report relating to African remittances payments, I just wanted to reach out and offer our spokespeople to comment on the figures quoted that we feel are not representative.
As you know MoneyGram’s strategy in Africa and globally is all about helping to drive money flow, and positively impact the lives of our customers. In fact, MoneyGram provides a fast, safe, cost effective and very convenient service to the citizens of the world.
Specifically responding to the report's claims, we want to be very clear that, at MoneyGram, there is no Africa premium. We offer a competitive service for people shunned by high street banks. For example, someone sending £200 from the UK to Africa would pay a charge of 5.1%, including foreign exchange fees, against a global average of 4.9%.
We can provide more details on how these costs are arrived at, including compliance and technology components, plus the ecosystem built around this service including businesses within Africa if that is of interest. We are also always keen to discuss our activity in Africa including CSR investments (involving the funding of numerous local initiatives) and new products launching soon.
This morning, Carl Scheible, MoneyGram's executive vice president of UK and Africa operations, told the BBC World Service that the ODI figures were not representative.
"We do not recognise these numbers as they are," he said.
MoneyGram charges depend on how much money is being sent. Mr. Scheible said that most people send money to Africa in amounts of about £200, which have a lower fee.
When taken as a whole, the average percentage that MoneyGram takes for money transfers to Africa from the UK is 5.1%, compared with a global average take of 4.9%, he said.
In addition, prices have been coming down "quite dramatically" over the last decade because of digitisation.
However, costs to the business still include logistics and cash handling. "The reality is we are providing a very competitive service, a fairly priced service, based on speed, reliability, security of the money arriving." Mr. Sheible said