Cointelegraph discussed the present and the future of international money transfer market with Peter Ohser, EVP of MoneyGram at Europe Money 20/20 which took place in Copenhagen.

MoneyGram is a money transfer company based in the United States, with regional and local offices spread around the world. Operating in more than 200 countries with a global network of more than 350,000 agent locations, it is the world’s second largest provider of money transfers. MoneyGram is focusing on transferring money across borders. The main goal is to make it as easy and efficient as possible to help people live better lives.

Consistent growth of money transferring market

MoneyGram is currently number two in the world by the size of market share. The competitive environment has always been very strong and taking a leading position has been challenging at times. Peter Ohser explains to Cointelegraph:

“There is a competition in every country at different levels, and the competitive landscape is evolving with new digital tech companies entering the market and people coming in and providing different solutions. It has been quite consistent, there is nothing really changing dramatically. We are definitely seeing the convergence of technology and aspiration to make things better for consumers, however, in a lot of markets it is still unfeasible and regulatory pressures are still restricting some of the flow”.

Building consumers’  trust is important

A number of factors allowed MoneyGram to continue gaining success on the money transfers market and distinguish itself among competitors. MoneyGram was able to spread across the globe and create ubiquitous opportunities to send money in various regions, which significantly expands the use-case of the product. Likewise, the company has spent a lot of time building it’s brand and acquiring people’s trust.

Peter Ohser says to Cointelegraph:

“When you move money it’s all about the trust. Part of the biggest challenge in fintech community is that they don’t have a brand and people don’t know if they can trust. If something goes wrong, how is it going to work for the customer to get his money back? Especially if you don’t have a lot of money, you care about that a lot. You are scared to try different things, because something might go wrong. Building a reputation of a brand, delivering on that premise every day and continuing to focus on making people’s lives better, making them happy with the product - that is what important”.

Peter Ohser, EVP of MoneyGram

Expanding partnerships to provide better solutions

MoneyGram is a financial technology company where everything is focused around accessing, providing, and integrating technology solutions. The company is constantly working on developing new and efficient solutions for money transferring, connecting with mobile devices, integrating into mobile e-wallets, and expanding its role on the market. Recently MoneyGram has been working hard exploring markets in Africa and other parts of the World. The company is actively partnering with the FinTech community to help enable them to provide cross border money transfers in a compliant and faster way.

Being one of the biggest money transfer companies in the world, MoneyGram keeps an open eye to the latest innovations in FinTech community, including recent developments in blockchain and related technologies.

Peter Ohser says to Cointelegraph:

“Blockchain is an amazing technology, however, people haven’t figured out how to apply blockchain. I think there’s a belief that it can provide some solutions when it comes to improvement of the efficiency of remittance system, and the question is who will be the first one to implement these solutions. Today most of the large players are working with blockchain technology, everyone is trying to look at it and say what could it do, and how would it work for us?”

Peter Ohser elaborates further thinking of what blockchain could contribute to the further development of MoneyGram:

“We are integrating with other partners. If you can get a standard and trusted platform which is going to work between the partners, that is going to take some  of the friction out of the system. We still need to be able to have control, visibility and transparency of that throughout the process. The premise of blockchain is open, but the challenge with being open is going against the regulatory regimes and what people are being forced to do at certain levels, so there is a lot of friction right now between those two things. We have seen companies trying to take the Bitcoin and apply it to the different spaces, but nobody has been really successful in this. And the part of the challenge is that the consumers don’t understand it, you have to make it clear to the customer”.

Many digital currency platforms have seen a rapid growth in the last few years. For instance, Blockchain and Coinbase get investments, get users, what can be considered as a sign of a rising demand on the market. However, Peter Ohser says that this is not entirely true. Companies that are doing cross border money transfers, especially those going to small rural markets, where money is a very physical and very emotional thing, are not ready to integrate blockchain technologies into their platforms.

You need to be agile to expand your presence

In terms of their development strategy, MoneyGram intends to grow it’s digital channels and strengthen the connections with partners, as Peter Ohser believes everybody can contribute from collaboration, and it will only do good for development of the field in general.

He says to Cointelegraph:

“Fintech community believes they are going to disrupt us, because they think we are all dinosaurs. However, the reality is that we are not, we are actually quite nimble, we are doing a lot of development, we are spending a lot of money and time building our business up. What the newcomers bring, we already have and this is just one of our distribution channels. We also understand the complexity of real operating business, its scale, legal and compliance side of it. We are moving very fast and I think for most companies, the company like MoneyGram is actually an opportunity for a partnership rather than an opportunity for a disrupt. Our business was built on partnerships, connecting global banks, global retailers to come over building a network, a safe trusted space to move money. Why the rest of fintech community couldn’t join this network?”.

Digital evolution is ongoing, and it brings whole new variety of both challenges and opportunities. How to coordinate this process? How to ensure compliance of complex markets with regulatory regimes and create inner opportunities for further growth?  We are closely following the process and looking for answers.