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Recently, MoneyGram Inc. (MGI - Analyst Report) announced a strategic alliance with WordPay to expand its direct-to-account money transfer service internationally. According to the agreement, MoneyGram’s payout interfaces will be managed by WordPay, which is associated with over 50 local currency clearing systems.

This will provide the money transfer company with a single integration and connection point, allowing it to swiftly add new countries and financial institutions to its direct-to-account service. As a result, MoneyGram’s service launch time will be reduced substantially.

Following the agreement, WordPay’s affiliated financial institutions will be able to offer customers the ability to receive funds from MoneyGram. Meanwhile, the latter’s customers will have a wider range of banks to choose from, while transferring funds.

The alliance will boost MoneyGram’s existing direct-to-account service, which allows international fund transfer to any bank account of a participating bank. It will not only expand the reach of the company to almost 50 countries across the world, but also provide its customers with access to WordPay’s 400,000 merchants and 300 financial institutions. WordPay is a leading international player in payments processing, risk and alternative payments services.

MoneyGram constantly strives to strengthen its network and offer innovative services to its customers by forming alliances with leading companies. In November 2012, the company announced a multi-year agreement with Qatar’s leading mobile operator – Qtel – to offer international mobile money transfer services through Qtel’s mobile wallet service.

In October 2012, MoneyGram announced the addition of CIMB Islamic Bank, Berhad to offer international money transfer services at more than 400 CIMB Islamic branch locations throughout Malaysia. Earlier in the same month, the company announced the addition of multiple locations in the Zhejiang state of China, through a strategic alliance with Rural Credit Union (RCU).

In September 2012, MoneyGram announced its alliance with two significant banks in Pakistan – Soneri Bank and Habib Metropolitan Bank. Through the addition of these two banks, the company added about 350 locations in Pakistan to its money transfer network. In the same month, the company also announced a strategic alliance with China’s leading China Guangfa Bank (CGB) to offer its money transfer services across 132 branches of the bank.

MoneyGram currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We maintain a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. Peer Euronet Worldwide Inc. (EEFT - Snapshot Report) carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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