MoneyGram, a global provider of money transfer and payments services, has partnered with Earthport to launch a new service that allows users to send money directly to any Romanian leu bank account in Romania.
The new service aims at Romania’s US$3.2 billion inward remittance market and is part of MoneyGram’s plans to expand its network and product sets.
“This is an exciting and innovative opportunity for MoneyGram,” Pete Ohser, MoneyGram’s executive vice president of Americas and Europe, said in a media release. “We continue to expand our network and provide convenient ways for customers to send international remittances.”
Earthport, an Internet payment infrastructure provider headquartered in London, uses the Ripple Consensus Ledger to enable faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border payments.
Earthport provide clients with access to global payment options in over 70 markets and connects with more than 60 local currency clearing systems. Its market portfolio includes “strategic corridors for MoneyGram’s service,” the company said.
In January, the company launched the Distributed Ledger Hub, a point of access aimed at providing banks with full connectivity into the Ripple network “at minimum effort and cost.” Back then, the company said that it intended to add more ledgers to the list.
“It is our belief that there may be different ledgers that gain traction over time – some will have a regional affiliation, and some may be more aligned by industry sector,” Earthport’s CEO Hank Uberoi, a former Goldman Sachs banker, said. “Banks will need to have access to a growing universe of different ledgers to serve their own clients, further complicating their technical roadmaps.”
Prior to the partnership announcement with MoneyGram, Earthport joined forces with Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc. to provide local payment capability into Sri Lanka.
The collaboration was part of Earthport’s ambition to strengthen its footprint in Asia where the company opened a regional office in Singapore in mid-July 2015.
“We recently opened an office in Singapore, we opened an office in Dubai, and we are building up in that region,” Uberoi told ProactiveInvestors in an interview in February. “And in fact, one of the things that we’ve talked about in our last results […] update, was the expanded focus we are putting into Asia.”
The firm, which already has relationships with large global banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Japan Post Bank, has “many, many more in the pipeline,” Uberoi said.
McKinsey&Company estimates that annual global payments revenues will increase at a relatively stable rate of 6% during the next five years, exceeding US$2 trillion by 2020.
One of the major centers of growth has been the Asia Pacific region (APAC). In 2014, APAC generated US$75 billion in payments revenues and accounted for about 55% of the industry’s revenue growth worldwide.