MoneyGram pairs up with Etisalat for cross-border transfers


Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and FXC Intelligence and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors.… Read more
  • The firm will work alongside Digital Financial Services LLC as part of the new venture, which is aimed at customers of the eWallet service.
  • No bank account will be required, and instead only basic identification and a UAE phone number will be needed.
  • “We’re excited about how this partnership builds upon our strong momentum in the Middle East market and further accelerates digital growth,” said a senior MoneyGram figure.

Cross-border payments firm MoneyGram has announced a new collaboration with a financial services firm in the Middle East.

The joint venture with Digital Financial Services LLC, which is operated by Etisalat and Noor Bank, will allow customers to place cross-border payment transactions to loved ones around the globe.

More than 200 national and territorial markets will be covered by the new arrangement.

Customers will be able to access the service via bank account deposit services, physical stores and more.

The new option applies to customers of the eWallet service, which is a payment service overseen by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates.

It permits transactions to be made even if there is no bank account or debit card in place, which is unusual in the broader money transfer market.

Instead, all that is required is a phone number based in the United Arab Emirates as well as an Emirates-based ID.

Grant Lines, who serves as chief revenue officer at MoneyGram, said that the new development reflected the “increasingly tech-savvy lifestyles” of people in the United Arab Emirates.

“Etisalat, like MoneyGram, has digitized its business to adapt to the increasingly tech-savvy lifestyles of its customers in the UAE,” he said.

“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 added.

For Digital Financial Services LLC, its chairman Ahmed Al Awadi said that the pairing up will “further enrich our customers’ lives”.

“eWallet continues to be an innovative solution that enhances the way UAE residents conduct financial transactions today,” he said.

“Our partnership with MoneyGram will further enrich our customers’ lives with a state-of-the-art user experience which MoneyGram is renowned for and will boost our future expansion plans,” he added.

The comment from Grant Lines, MoneyGram’s chief revenue officer, contains an interesting reference that won’t go unnoticed by many industry watchers.

According to Lines, the United Arab Emirates is “the third largest outbound remittance country in the world”.

While this is unsurprising given the strength of the expatriate labour market in the country, it is also a stark reminder of just how important the Middle East is as a node in the international money transfer sector.

Do you work in the international money transfer sector and want to find out more about the latest partnerships and deals? Our magazine pages are on hand to help you out.

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