MoneyGram Review

MoneyGram is a Texas-based money transfer company. It is fully licensed in all the 50 states in the US and has a Foreign Transmittal License among other authorisations. The company currently serves 200+ countries and territories through its 350,000+ service locations in different parts of the globe.

It's sending and disbursement network coverage include banks, cash pickup points and mobile wallets. Therefore, senders and recipients have the convenience of choosing the channel that works best for them. Transfers are also relatively fast with most of them taking minutes or a few hours to get to the recipient.

Despite having been in the industry for decades, MoneyGram exchange rates are still lower compared to other money transfer companies. This review looks at the fees and rates MoneyGram charges, the types of transfers it processes, the pros and cons, and the general view customers have of its services.

Date Founded:
Provider Type:
HQ Location:
Regulators:
Mobile Friendly:
No
Mobile App:
No
Languages Available:
Transfer Options:
Online
Withdrawal Options:
Bank, Debit Card
Payment Options:
Bank Transfer, Debit Card
Regular Payments:
No
Supported Currencies:
Support Options:

MoneyGram exchange rates and fees

MoneyGram charges both exchange rate margins and transfer fees when processing transactions. There is a cost calculator on the website that clearly shows how much you’ll spend on your transfer.

Transfer Fees

The company charges considerably lower fees per transfer compared to the industry average. The fees vary based on the transfer amount, the destination, the transfer payment method and payout option chosen. For instance, sending 500 GBP to the US costs 3.99 GBP. Sending a similar amount from your bank directly to a bank account in Malta costs zero fees, but when you choose a cash pickup option, you pay 3.99 GBP.

Exchange Rates

The exchange rate margins MoneyGram charges depend on the currency pair. When sending from GBP to EUR, you’ll be charged about 5.05% above mid-market rate. Transferring the same amount to Australia in AUD will see you pay 4.23% above the mid-market rate.

Other Fees

Depending on the payment method you choose, there could be third party fees that MoneyGram doesn’t factor in. For instance, paying via credit card may attract a cash advance fee in addition to interest fees on the amount advanced.

For the best outcomes in fees and rates, it is recommended that you pay via bank and have the transfer deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account.

Top destinations for using MoneyGram

MoneyGram serves lots of countries and territories globally. Even though the provider has not explicitly stated the most frequented corridors, the rollout of its innovations target countries such as Germany, Belgium, Australia, Denmark, Norway, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Portugal, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and a few others. This could be a clear indication of what that in these countries, MoneyGram enjoys popularity.

The maximum amounts you can send varies per corridor. For instance, when sending money to India from the United Kingdom, the maximum is 6,000 GBP. When sending money to Colombia, from the UK, the maximum is 4,148 GBP.

Pros and Cons of MoneyGram

MoneyGram has established itself throughout history as a reliable money transfer service provider. It has a large customer base and disbursement network. However, much like any other service provider, the company has its downside. Below is a look at both the pros and cons.

Pros

Large Agent Network- MoneyGram has more than 350,000 agents spread in 200+ countries and territories. This network enhances access to sending and receiving of money even in remote areas.

Payout Flexibility – When sending money, you can decide, where the transfer corridor allows, that your recipient gets the transfer as a direct deposit in their bank account, cash pickup, mobile wallet deposit or prepaid card.

Multiple Access Points – Sending money through the MoneyGram platform gives the sender multiple access points. You can make your transfer through the online platform, at a MoneyGram-owned store, transaction staging kiosks, or independent agents.

Faster Transfers-Depending on the receiving location and payout option, transfers can take minutes or hours. Transfer to mobile wallets and cash pickup locations take the shortest time. Transfers to bank accounts may take a couple of hours or a day to complete.

Lower Transfer fees- When sending money to bank accounts, the transfer fees are minimal or even absent. Cash pickups attract lower transfer fees with some corridors costing only 3.99 GBP for up to 6000 GBP worth of transfers.

Cons

Lower Exchange Rates – The exchange rate margins MoneyGram charges can go as high as 5.05%. The higher the margins the lower the rates and this means you get less money per unit of the sending currency. On average most money transfer providers charge between 0.5% to 3.5%.

Variable Transfer Payment Methods-Not all senders have the privilege of paying for their transfers using credit or debit cards. In countries like India, you can only send money in cash from an agent location.

Lower Threshold- Whereas some transfer corridors have high limits there are others such as Mexico and Kenya where you can send only up to 990 USD and 708 USD respectively. This can be limiting when sending funds to buy capital intensive assets.

Types of transfers by MoneyGram

MoneyGram allows senders to make four types of transfers. However, the transfers differ depending on the remittance corridor.

  • Direct to bank account transfers
  • Cash Pickup
  • Mobile wallet transfers -Currently, this service is available in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Romania
  • Prepaid card reloads
  • Home deliveries -Cash is delivered at the recipient’s home. In Vietnam, MoneyGram has partnered with HD Bank and DongA Bank to make this possible.

Through MoneyGram, you can also top up mobile phones in 100 countries around the world. The service is simple, fast and secure. You can make the transfers from agent locations, at self-service stores, online, or through the MoneyGram mobile application.

MoneyGram money transfer times

The time it takes for your transfer to get to the recipient through the MoneyGram platform varies depending on a couple of factors.

  • Sending Destination- Transfer time may vary based on the destination. However, the maximum it takes a MoneyGram transfer is 2 days.
  • Payout option-Cash pickups and mobile wallet transfers are usually delivered in minutes. Direct to bank account transfers take a couple of hours to be completed while home deliveries differ depending on the delivery location.

Most transfers are delivered within one business day. When you pay with an online bank account, it takes 3-4 days for your transfer to be processed hence this can cause delays.

What payment methods are available?

There are several payment methods you can use when transferring money through the MoneyGram platform. Not all options will be available in your sending location.

  • Debit or credit card- This could be Visa or MasterCard branded.
  • Online bank account- You can log in to your online account and pay for your transfer
  • Cash at location -You can begin your transfer online and then pay for it at a MoneyGram agent location. Alternatively, you can begin and complete the transfer at an agent location.

If you are in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium, you can use SOFORT banking to pay for your transfer. This payment method is instant.

Reasons to use MoneyGram

MoneyGram has two business segments: global funds transfer segment and financial paper products segment. There are several use cases for MoneyGram some of which include.

Consumers

  • Bill Payment- MoneyGram allows consumers in the US and Canada to pay phone bills, rent, and car payments.
  • Send money to family and friends
  • Pay tuition fees

Businesses

  • Pay remote workers
  • Pay for merchandise
  • Receive payment from customers

For instance, there are research assistants in East Africa working for multinationals who get paid using MoneyGram.

Can I Trust MoneyGram?

MoneyGram is a brand that has been in existence since 1940. Over the years, it has grown and diversified its product offering. The global funds transfer segment is in charge of money transfers and bill payments while the financial paper products segment offers official check outsourcing and money order services.

As of December 31, 2018, MoneyGram, had a total of 999 US-based employees and another 1,437 working in different countries outside the US. The wealth of experience the company has acquired over the years gives it a solid spot as one of the most reliable companies in the industry.

In terms of regulations and licensing, MoneyGram has authorisations in the different countries in operates. In the United States, it is licensed in all the 50 States including the District of Columbia. In the United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA), MoneyGram International Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs as an Authorised Payment Institution.

The licensing requires that MoneyGram complies with different laws such as anti-money laundering laws, currency control regulations, financial services regulations, anti-bribery laws, and currency control regulations. The company is also required to bank client funds and business funds separately. MoneyGram is audited by KPMG LLP and has maintained them as their auditors from 2016.

To protect its transfers, MoneyGram uses 2048-bit SSL and a host of other Thawte online security solutions.

User feedback about MoneyGram

On Trustpilot, MoneyGram reviews are divided into country pages. The United States page has the largest number of reviews at 511. Unfortunately, most of the reviews are negative pointing to some disappointed customers.

Positive

  • Customers pointed out that their transfers took a relatively shorter time to get to their recipients
  • Others cited the simplicity of the transfer process
  • The screening questions made some customers confident that MoneyGram was taking the necessary safety steps

Negative

  • The decline of transactions with no meaningful explanations
  • Less-than-satisfactory customer service

How to send and receive money?

There are two main ways to send money through the MoneyGram platform. You can send in-person from an agent or send online.

In-Person Transfers

Step 1: Locate and visit a MoneyGram agent.

Step 2: Fill in the money transfer documents giving the recipient details and the amount you want to send

Step 3: Provide your identification documents which can be your national ID, passport, driving license or any other acceptable document in the sending country.

Step 4: Send the transfer and SMS the 8-digit transaction number to the recipient to enable them to collect the money when it arrives.

Online Transfers

This requires that you open an account online and fill in the details of the transfer much like the in-person transfer. The advantage with the online transfer is that once your account is up and running, you can use it for repeat transfers without having to provide the identity information every now and then.

Does MoneyGram have a mobile app?

MoneyGram has a mobile app available as a free download on both android and iOS platforms. Through the app, you can do the following:

  • Send money 24/7 to 200+ countries and territories
  • Check exchange rates and fee estimates
  • Start your transaction on the app and complete it at a store
  • Pay bills such as a mortgage, utilities and car payments
  • Track transfers
  • Check historical transfer information
  • Find agent locations nearby

The app has a rating of 4.5/5.0 on Google Play, with a total of 16,201 reviews. On the App Store, the application has a rating of 4.8/5.0 and a total of ‎45,522 reviews.

Can I cancel my MoneyGram transfer?

Yes, it is possible to cancel your transfer as long as it hasn’t been paid out to the recipient. Simply log in to the online platform and locate the transfer from the transaction history. On the transaction details page, you have the option to cancel the transfer.

You can also call MoneyGram customer support and give them your transaction reference number, the amount you sent and the destination of the transfer. The customer service will ask you to give the recipient information just as you provided it in the transfer.

After the cancellation is successful it can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days to get your money back. It will be deposited in your card or bank account as directed. To prevent such cases, ensure you always counter check your transfers before hitting the ‘send’ button.

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