MoneyGram Adds New Order-Ahead Options to MobilePass

September 11, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

MoneyGram rolled out its MobilePass system right around a year ago, bringing it to CVS locations throughout the United States as a pilot program of sorts. The successful conclusion of said program prompted MoneyGram to take another look at the program and plot a significant expansion. Now, that expansion’s getting ready to go live, and bring MobilePass—and its mobile order-ahead of cash functions—to the over 35,000-strong MoneyGram locations in the United States.

That doesn’t include Walmart’s MoneyGram operations; those are under their own banner and work with Walmart’s mobile money transfer operations. MoneyGram, however, is ready to take MobilePass on the road, and has already learned quite a bit ahead of this larger-scale launch. Getting customers interested was said to be something of an issue, a point MoneyGram addressed by specifically asking associates to show customers just how it all worked.

Seeing the system work first-hand, reports suggest, went a long way toward building interest in using MobilePass as a means to transfer cash. Once the customers actually saw it working, they quickly passed on the notion to friends and family, serving as an organic marketing campaign.

Effectively, the system works as an order-ahead program for a cash transfer between users, and it’s the kind of thing that’s catching attention in the same kind of market as, say, Venmo, but not necessarily to the kind of demographic that would use Venmo. The difference is that there’s more paperwork this way, but it involves cash instead of an electronic transfer. Users can set up the transfer as they like, and then stop in with cash in hand to complete the process and send the money on.

Thanks to that grass-roots sort of outreach, MoneyGram might well have been able to build itself a niche market where there wouldn’t have been one otherwise. As it stands, it will likely have a hard enough time competing not only with Venmo, but also with Walmart itself. MoneyGram needed this basic connection before it could go fully live basically because it needed to build that market up first.

It’s done a good job on that front, and though it’s not wholly out of the woods—Venmo is still a thing—it’s built the basis of a market and should have some real room to run going forward.