MoneyGram Makes it Easier to Use Mobile Payments in Hurricane Relief

September 18, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

You can say a lot of things about Americans, but one thing that always seems to crop us is that they get really, really generous after a major disaster hits. Americans are some of the most charitable people around; a Gallup poll actually put US cash donations at the top of the list and time donations not too far from the top. For those planning to use mobile payments tools to help out with the disaster of Hurricane Dorian, it just got a little easier; MoneyGram announced it was waiving fees on cash sent to the Bahamas.

The fee-free transfers aren’t just for MoneyGram retail locations, either; MoneyGram’s stepping down from its fee structure for those using the MoneyGram website and those using the mobile app as well, meaning that anyone who wants to send cash can do so without MoneyGram taking a bite. The policy does seem to be limited, however, to those donating to the American Red Cross.

MoneyGram CEO and chairman Alex Homes noted “MoneyGram stands with the people of the Bahamas and all those who were impacted by Hurricane Dorian. We hope this small gesture on our part helps contribute to the larger fundraising efforts of the American Red Cross and provides some much needed relief to our friends, family and neighbors in these regions.”

Credit where credit is due, this is a good idea and one that will likely prove helpful to the devastated Bahamas. At the worst, based on satellite photos of the island post-Dorian, something like half of Grand Bahama Island was underwater to at least some extent. This should give the Red Cross plenty of extra juice with which to operate in the region. However, it’s easy enough to wonder why this stops where it does. The Salvation Army, Mercy Corps, and a bundle of others are operating down there as well; why is MoneyGram not allowing fee-free transfers to these operations? Moreover, the Bahamas wasn’t the only victim of Hurricane Dorian; why no fee-free transfers to other affected regions like Florida or North Carolina?