MoneyGram International and Visa Inc. have launched a cash-to-Visa account program for remittances from the United States to Mexico.
The program, which mirrors a similar project in Guatemala, allows consumers to visit any of the 35,000 MoneyGram locations in the U.S. to send funds directly to eligible Visa accounts in Mexico. Recipients in Mexico receive the funds directly to their Visa credit, debit, or prepaid accounts, giving them access to their funds through Visa’s global network of merchant acceptance locations and ATMs.
Transactions are initiated by MoneyGram agents and processed through Visa’s secure global network, VisaNet. Funds are deposited directly to a recipient’s eligible Visa debit, credit or prepaid account in Mexico, with minimal action required by the recipient. Once funds are received in the Visa account, recipients can access the money conveniently anywhere Visa is accepted or withdraw cash at any Visa ATM.
The Bank of Mexico reported worker’s remittances in 2010 as reaching $21.2 billion and the majority of transfers ($20.5 billion) were made electronically. Mexico is the third largest remittance market in the world – only India and China receive more from their nationals working abroad.
As a remittance origination country, the U.S. is the largest in the world, with $48 billion being sent abroad in 2010. The U.S.-to-Mexico corridor has been targeted by MoneyGram as it recorded transaction volumes between the two countries returning to growth during the second half of 2010.