MoneyGram

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MoneyGram International Inc
Type Public
Traded as NASDAQMGI
Industry Financial Services
Founded 1940
Headquarters Dallas, Texas
Key people Pam Patsley
Chairman and CEO
Products Wire transfers
Money Orders
Website MoneyGram.com

MoneyGram International Inc. is a money transfer company based in the United States with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas. It has operation centers in St. Louis Park, Minnesota and Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a call center in Lakewood, Colorado, and regional and local offices around the world. MoneyGram businesses are divided into two categories, consisting of Global Funds Transfers and Financial Paper Products. The company services individuals and businesses through a network of agents and financial institution customers. Following the foiling of a $100-million scam ring, MoneyGram was at the center of the largest administrative forfeiture in the 200-plus-year history of the United States Postal Inspection Service.[1]

History[edit]

MoneyGram International was a result of two businesses merging, Minneapolis-based Travelers Express and Denver-based Integrated Payment Systems Inc. MoneyGram was initially established as a subsidiary of Integrated Payment Systems and then became independent company before it was acquired by Travelers in 1998.[2][3] In 2004, Travelers Express became what is known today as MoneyGram International.

Travelers Express (1940-1997)[edit]

Minneapolis-based Travelers Express Co. Inc. was founded in 1940.[4] Travelers Express, a subsidiary of Viad Corporation, became the nation's largest provider of money orders before initiating a company reorganization plan in 1993.[5] By the late 1990s, MoneyGram Payment Systems had served customers at over 22,000 locations in 100 countries.[6][7]

MoneyGram Payment Systems (1988-1997)[edit]

MoneyGram was formed in 1988 as a subsidiary of Integrated Payment Systems Inc.[6][8][9] Integrated Payment Systems was a subsidiary of First Data Corporation, which was itself a subsidiary of American Express.[2] In 1992, First Data was spun off from American Express and publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.[2][7] First Data Corporation later merged with First Financial, the owners of rival Western Union.[2] In order to approve the merger, the Federal Trade Commission forced First Data to sell Integrated Payment Systems.[8]

In 1996, Integrated Payment Systems, the nation's second largest non-bank consumer money transfer business, became its own publicly traded company and was renamed MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc.[7][8] In 1997, James F. Calvano, former president of Western Union, became MoneyGram Payment Systems CEO.[6]

MoneyGram International Ltd. was established in 1997 by MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc. a year after the company had gone public.[6] At the time when MoneyGram International was established, MoneyGram Payment Systems owned 51 percent of the company, while the other 49 percent was owned by the Thomas Cook Group.[10][11]

1998-present[edit]

From 2007-2009, MoneyGram's shares fell 96 percent. It lost more than $1.6 billion from investments in securities backed by risky mortgages in 2008; the losses led the company to sell a majority stake to Thomas H. Lee Partners and Goldman Sachs in exchange for a cash infusion. During the drop, U.S. Bancorp shifted its money transfer services to Western Union. The company began to see profitability again in 2009.[12]

In September 2010, MoneyGram announced that it will move its global headquarters to the city of Dallas, Texas, although Minneapolis, Minnesota will continue to be the hub for its Global Operations and Information Technology Centers of Excellence, and Lakewood, Colorado will continue to host its Call Center Operations.[13] The company officially moved its headquarters as of Nov. 1, 2010.

Money Laundering Scam and Wire-Fraud Violations[edit]

On November 9, 2012, MoneyGram International admitted to anti-money laundering and wire fraud violations.[14] MoneyGram services were used by unrelated parties involved in mass marketing and consumer phishing schemes that defrauded tens of thousands of victims in the United States. It was determined that MoneyGram lacked sufficient fraud detection and warning capacity, which is being added as part of the settlement. In addition to agreeing to forfeit $100 million, MoneyGram must retain a corporate monitor who will report regularly to the Department of Justice until 2018. If, after the five-year trial period, the company fullfils its obligations under the deal, prosecutors will seek dismissal of the charges of aiding and abetting wire fraud, and failure to maintain an effective money laundering prevention program.[15] MoneyGram International's scams affected more than 2000 people. Postal inspectors said that the $100-million fraud settlement with MoneyGram International is still being pursued as criminal charges.[1]

Products[edit]

Global Funds Transfers[edit]

  • MoneyGram Money Transfer
  • MoneyGram Bill Payments Services - allowing consumers to make urgent payments or pay routine bills to certain creditors.
  • PropertyBridge (RentPayment) a service to allow property owners to accept payments from their tenants.

Financial Paper Products[edit]

  • Money Orders - MoneyGram is the second largest money order supplier.[citation needed]
  • Official Checks - MoneyGram offers official check outsourcing services which are available to financial institutions in the United States. Official Checks are used by consumers where a payee requires a check drawn on a bank and by financial institutions to pay their own obligations.

Competition[edit]

In recent years the competition in money transfer market has significantly increased,[16] especially after appearance of such companies as Dwolla, TransferGo, TransferWise. One of the major competitors of MoneyGram is Western Union which has been dominating the market for decades. Although competition is increasing Money Gram still remains one of the market leaders.[17]

Philanthropy[edit]

MoneyGram launched the MoneyGram Foundation in 2013.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "MoneyGram scam victims receive reimbursement checks."
  2. ^ a b c d Dash, Eric (27 January 2006). "Western Union, Growing Faster Than Its Parent, Is to Be Spun Off". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Viad raises offer to buy MoneyGram". The Denver Post. 
  4. ^ "MoneyGram remittance costs are just 5%". Bizcommunity.com. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Vrana, Debora (14 August 1993). "Travelers Express to Reorganize, Close Anaheim Office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d Greenland, Paul R. (2008). Tina Grant, ed. "MoneyGram International, Inc.". International Directory of Company Histories 94 (Detroit: St. James Press). pp. 315–318. 
  7. ^ a b c Steven Lipin (6 April 1998). "Viad of Phoenix Agrees to Acquire Payments Firm for $287 Million". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c "FIRST DATA SPINNING OFF MONEYGRAM UNIT.". The Record. January 17, 1996. 
  9. ^ "Form 8-K". Securities & Exchange Commission. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "MONEYGRAM, THOMAS COOK FORM JOINT VENTURE FOR". Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Form 10-K". Securities & Exchange Commission. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Chris Serres, MoneyGram paid ex-CEO $13.1 million, Star Tribune, March 31, 2009, accessed November 14, 2011.
  13. ^ "MoneyGram International Moves Global Corporate Headquarters to Dallas." Businesswire.com. September 23, 2010. Retrieved on November 4, 2010.
  14. ^ "Moneygram International Inc. Admits Anti-Money Laundering and Wire Fraud Violations, Forfeits $100 Million in Deferred Prosecution." justice.gov. November 9, 2012. Retrieved on March 21, 2013.
  15. ^ "Federal judge OKs MoneyGram fraud deal, $100M fund." ap.org. November 28, 2012. Retrieved on March 21, 2013.
  16. ^ "Competing in Money Transfers: A Market Overview". aitegroup.com. 
  17. ^ "Global remittance industry choking billions out of developing world". http://www.theguardian.com/. 2014-08-18. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "MoneyGram Foundation awards six more grants."

External links[edit]