MoneyGram, M.Lhuillier tie up in remittance business

By MARIA ALETA O. NIEVA, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Feb 26 2009 06:39 PM | Updated as of Feb 27 2009 04:59 AM

MoneyGram International Chief Executive Officer John Hempsey (2nd from left) with Michael Lhuillier, Vice President of M.Lhuillier Financial Services Inc., and MoneyGram's Senior Regional Director for Asia Pacific & South Asia, Nick Cunnew

In a bid to boost its market share, global money transfer firm MoneyGram International has tapped M.Lhuillier Financial Services Inc. as its local partner in providing remittance services to overseas Filipino workers.

Nick Cunnew, MoneyGram senior regional director for Asia Pacific and South Asia, said this new tie-up would allow them to gain a bigger share in the remittance industry.

"Of the overall market size, our share is too small. We are very bullish on our ability to grow. That's why we are aligning ourselves with M. Lhuillier (because) they have a very strong brand," said Cunnew.

Cunnew noted that the projected flat growth in the country's remittance inflows would not have a direct impact on their business, saying that "even if the market declines, we would still grow."

"We are very confident that this is a sustainable business. We are in 180 countries and we deal with immigrants from around the world, and we will continue to build that business and that network on a global basis," he added.

MoneyGram and M. Lhuillier, a local non-back financial services company, inked an agreement on Thursday to provide Filipinos overseas a cheaper alternative in sending money home.

Under the deal, M. Lhuillier will offer MoneyGram customers the option of receiving their money in US dollars, removing costs relating to currency exchange.

“Some people seem to like to hold on to their dollars for speculation purposes. They want to hold on to the greenback to change on a future need. We want to give them the option to do that,” said Michael Lhuillier, vice president of M.Lhuillier.

Lhuillier said his company would start offering this new service on April 1.

“We look forward to serving OFWs in need of cost-effective and efficient service to send money back home,” he said.

M.Lhuillier is a leading financial services company in the Philippines, with a network of 1,200 outlets nationwide providing monetary loans, pawn brokerage and a wide array of money remittance services. Founded in the 1930s, the institution also has investments in insurance, courier delivery, electronic loading and processed food products.

MoneyGram, on the other hand, offers money transfers, money orders and payment processing solutions for financial institutions and customers globally. It has approximately 176,000 global money transfer agents located in 180 countries.