Having two decades of experience in marketing, brand management and sales team management, Sabrina Chan joined MoneyGram in 2004. The Marketing Head of Asia Pacific, South Asia and Middle East, Chan has expanded her remit to cover more regions including South Asia and the Middle East region developing and leading the regional initiatives for more than 25 countries. Muna Sunuwar of Republica caught up with Chan to talk about the remittance market. Excerpts:
Give us an overview of MoneyGram's global remittance market? How is the South Asian Market for MoneyGram?
MoneyGram is a global money transfer and payment service provider that enables friends and family to safely, affordably, and conveniently send money. We are present in over 200 countries and territories. Currently, we have agents across the globe and have over 350,000 physical agent locations. We also have expanded our reach and product channels to digital platforms. MoneyGram online allows customers to directly send money through online platform from over 28 countries. We continue to build our relationship with retailers like 7-Eleven stores in Australia, and Walmart in the USA. This is one of our ways to reach out to customers where they can feel comfortable. They can either opt our retailer partners or our physical locations for money transferring.
What are your thoughts on 'double your happiness' campaign?
We focus much more on consumers. We wanted to ensure that the consumers are aware about our services. We had done the promotion for past two months and we have extended the promotion period to next one month, from September onwards to November end. Money is the best form of gratification and will help our consumers double their happiness back home. The campaign has been derived through key insights and is true to MoneyGram's commitment of consumer-focused initiatives.
How important is Nepali market for MoneyGram?
The remittance size of Nepal is increasing every year. One in every four households in Nepal has one member working or studying abroad. There is a huge potential. According to World Bank, Nepali migrant workers sent home US dollar 8.1 billion in 2018. Nepal is a significant market for us. In terms of the remittance size, it is placed on fourth position in South Asian countries. I have come to learn that many Nepalis still use illegal channels to send money. A lot of Nepalis are not aware that we are offering affordable service and they need not use these underground channels. Every transaction through MoneyGram complies with rules and regulations and is safe.
Given the increasing inflow of remittance in Nepal, what strategies is MoneyGram coming up with to stand out from the mushrooming remittance companies?
We will continue to focus on understanding the consumers. It is very important to view from the receiver's end. Receivers need to know where to collect the money. Similar to double your happiness campaign, we will continue to introduce such exciting campaigns. Through campaigns, we are not just transacting the money but giving back to the community. We have to understand from where the money can be sent. It can either be through the adoption of the digital world or physical location according to their comfort. It is important for MoneyGram to be well positioned to support the need of senders and receivers.
What are MoneyGram's digital expansion plans?
The digital plan includes expanding our own channel and also joining hands with partners. Our customers have options of sending money from agent location, online, mobile or Kisok. The new MoneyGram money transfer app “rivals that of any FinTech” firm, and has seen a fivefold increase in users since launch. Added functionality includes the ability to track money transfers. MoneyGram has ongoing partnerships with money wallets and bank account services in several countries including Ooredoo Wallet in Qatar, GCash in the Philippines, Indonesia Account Deposit, and AliPay in China.