Cross-border Payments

MoneyGram Teams With Digital Financial Services For Cross-Border Money Transfers

MoneyGram will partner with Digital Financial Services in order to help facilitate cross-border transfers involving digital wallets in the United Arab Emirates, according to a press release.

Digital Financial Services is a partnership between Etisalat and Noor Bank, which was acquired earlier this year by the Dubai Islamic Bank.

The new partnership will allow customers of eWallet to make transfers across over 200 countries and territories in what the release calls an “expansive network” of mobile operators and also physical locations. eWallet is regulated and licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE and works to offer electronic payments through a mobile app, the release states.

MoneyGram Chief Revenue Officer Grant Lines said the new partnership would cater to the increasingly savvy tech-minded lives of customers in the UAE.

“We’re excited about how this partnership builds upon our strong momentum in the Middle East market and further accelerates digital growth as we expand our customer-centric capabilities to the third-largest outbound remittance country in the world,” he said, according to the release.

The difference between eWallet and other such apps is that eWallet doesn’t require the user to have a bank account or credit or debit card, needing only a valid UAE mobile number and Emirates ID. Once registered, customers can put money into the eWallet and start sending and receiving money, transferring to bank accounts, conducting payments and paying bills, the release states.

P2P services could play a big role in the burgeoning Middle Eastern world of FinTechs, a recent PYMNTS discussion speculated. The form is newer in the region and will have to be navigated with sharia compliance necessary in Islamic banks, with UAE company Beehive leading the way in that department.

The UAE also has to grapple with the problem of cumbersome remittances, subject to slow speeds and excessive fees. The pandemic has expedited the problem as immigrants have lost their jobs. The issue is being addressed through numerous innovations making it cheaper and easier to send payments home.

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