MoneyGram Review 2023
MoneyGram is the second-largest money transfer company in the world. They make it easy to send money overseas with several locations for pickups. You can also use the service for bank transfers. Here we look at the services they offer, how it works and whether it is a suitable service for your needs.
What is MoneyGram?
MoneyGram Online is an international money transfer service that allows you to set up an account and make quick money transfers globally. MoneyGram’s website and app allow you to quickly check their fees and rates by entering the amount of money you wish to transfer and the country you wish to transfer it too. Its search engines will then show you their fees and exchange rate so you can decide if you wish to proceed. Since rates are constantly changing you can see them quickly to decide if it makes sense to transfer on that particular day – if you have the option to delay that is.
How Does MoneyGram Service Work?
When you arrive on the MoneyGram site you can first check MoneyGram’s Rates based on how much and where you want the money sent. You can then open an account, and verify your identity if you wish to proceed. Authentication is required for certain amounts; in which case you will be told you need to go through their verification process. If you are transferring anything higher than $900, be sure to have your valid ID with your photo ready to scan. Higher amounts might also require answering some questions such as your occupation before you are verified to proceed. You can then sign in and set up your transfer. You just enter the amount, the destination, and the currency you wish the money transferred.
The fees will be estimated again, and here you are shown the exchange rate and fees in hand with your options for payment. You also have to select how the “beneficiary” is going to receive the money. In some cases, you might be asked further questions about the transfer. It’s a good idea to have your passport ready for proof of citizenship. Next, you can enter the receiver’s information. For transfers in the Eurozone make sure you have the receiver’s IBAN, SWIFT/BIC code and bank’s name. You can then add your payment details by card or bank.
MoneyGram covers transfers in the following currencies:
AED, AFN, ALL, ANG, AUD, BMD, BND, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, DZD, EUR, FJD, GBP, HKD, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, IQD, JPY, KRW, KWD, LKR, LRD, LYD, MAD, MGA, MKD, MMK, MNT, MOP, MXN, MYR, NGN, OMR, PEN, PGK, PHP, PKR, PLN, SAR, SBD, SCR, SDG, SEK, SGD, SZL, THB, TOP, TRY, TWD, USD, UZS, VND, VUV, WST, XCD, XOF, XPF, YER, ZAR
MoneyGram Fees and Exchange Rates
MoneyGram fees are hard to nail down as you have to enter a dollar amount, where you are sending it and it will then calculate the fees for you in hand with the rate of exchange. However, this makes the process reasonably simple as you get a breakdown so you can see what it will cost and what you are getting for your exchange rate. However, generally, you are looking at charges about 5% above the mid-market rate. You also might not know 100% what is exchange rate related and what their fees are when looking at the results.
Is MoneyGram Safe?
Yes, as the second-largest international money transfer service, MoneyGram is subject to a wide range of laws and regulations based on the countries they service. This includes all licensing and regulatory requirements such as:
- Minimum capital requirements
- Compliance with operational procedures
- Agent oversight
- Maintenance of reserves
These measures ensure your funds are protected and help reduce the risk for fraud. The company invests $50 million US annually in their compliance program.
MoneyGram offers many advantages including:
- Money reaches the beneficiary in minutes once you complete the process
- Helpful customer service
- Choice of web or mobile apps
- Very user friendly
- Access to about 200 countries and 50 currencies
- Highly trustworthy company
- Good variety of pay-in options including cash, credit card, bank transfer, and more
All in all their reputation and convenience is the main attraction to the service.
As with any service, there are some drawbacks including:
- There have been reports of transfer cancellations and difficulty in getting money back once the cancellation is applied.
- Some people encounter difficulties when trying to transfer money online
- The verification process is tedious, but this is required by law so there’s no way around it
- They tend to be more expensive compared to other services, but you are paying for their compliance, security, and reputation
- Their maximum transfer limits are too low
- You really can’t tell what fees you are being charged
- Some people have found the exchange rates displayed at the time of transfer are actually not the ones paid out
The major downside is that if you are transferring higher amounts of money you will have to go through the verification process and also lose out due to their higher fees.
How Does MoneyGram Compare to the Competition?
MoneyGram tends to do very well when looking at its competitors. However, one complaint is the difficult process to open an account. It takes time and seems unnecessarily difficult with too many steps before you get to the screen to make your transfer. However, it is probably worth it, as it is just a one-time thing, and once you are registered, the process is pretty straightforward. Keep in mind any regulatory questioning is the law, and therefore you will encounter the same issues with other services. Also, as already mentioned their fees tend to be higher so you are better off choosing to pick up for the receiver, as it reduces fees. Unfortunately, it also tends to be less convenient at the receiver end.
For the most part, MoneyGram Online is an excellent choice. They are highly trustworthy and once your account is opened the service is very simple. The main concern here is the fees. If you are looking for the added convenience of a bank transfer you will pay more. It is worth your while to check the rates of competitors first. Cash pickup is a breeze, with fairer pricing, so if your receiver doesn’t object, this is your best bet.