VM Money Transfer signs on as MoneyGram agent
Michael Howard, general manager of VMBS Money Transfer Services (VMTS), said Thursday that a new partnership between international remittance provider MoneyGram and VMBS will in the first phase add 15 outlets to the Jamaican network.
Later will come the addition of subagents, the companies stated.
"We have embarked on an expansion plan for the VMBS Money Transfer Services network in both brick-and-mortar locations and electronic channels. The brick-and-mortar locations across Jamaica currently stand at just under 50 agents with coverage in every parish, while the electronic channels allow customers to receive funds directly into their bank accounts and also on a money card," Howard told the Financial Gleaner.
He said that by the third quarter of 2015, the MoneyGram service would expand to all 50 VMTS locations.
Victoria Mutual Building Society announced the new agreement between subsidiary VMBS Money Transfer Services and MoneyGram at midweek.
Jamaica's remittance market is valued at US$2 billion, with remittance companies accounting for the lion's share of the business.
At November 2014, year-to-date inflows topped US$1.95 billion, reflecting a 4.5 per cent growth in remittances.
Howard said, the MoneyGram service will firstly be offered in 15 VMBS locations in phase one of the launch. The Bank of Jamaica, which oversees the market, has approved the locations.
Howard said that phase two will deploy the service to all of VMTS' agent locations across Jamaica. The network currently spans the entire island with representation in every parish.
VMTS, which was launched in 2004, already enables inbound remittances to Jamaica from the United Kingdom, Canada, United States and Turks & Caicos Islands.
The agreement with Moneygram is limited to Jamaica, but Howard said that other possibilities were being reviewed.
"VMBS Money Transfer Services' strategic position dictates that we continue to grow the business and with this agreement, with one of the largest remittance companies in the world, we will continue to explore all avenues," he said.
The money services manager said its new partner's fees were "competitive, and start at $200 to send up to $2,000 within Jamaica, and from $480 to send up to $12,000 overseas".
MoneyGram International, which lost National Commercial Bank as a partner more than a year ago, said the bank's withdrawal and other challenges in the past two years have not slowed it down.
"MoneyGram continues to grow steadily in Jamaica and the Caribbean. While NCB made a corporate decision to leave the remittance business, most of our existing customers continued to use our services through our other widely available network," the company said in response to Financial Gleaner queries.
"With the launch of the service at Victoria Mutual Money Transfer, MoneyGram services are now available at more than 200 locations across Jamaica," said the company's spokesperson.