Global payments platform MoneyGram is launching a non-custodial wallet that allows users to move funds between fiat currency and USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar. This move represents MoneyGram’s continued foray into the crypto space, as it partners with the Stellar blockchain to power its wallet. MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes emphasized the company’s digital transformation over the past five years and its commitment to redefine the movement of money between fiat currencies. While many blockchain projects have struggled with cross-border payments, MoneyGram has taken a unique approach by developing a digital wallet and partnering with Stellar, while also cautioning that crypto won’t replace cash.
MoneyGram’s non-custodial wallet aims to address the dilemma of users needing to pick a destination for their funds in traditional money transfer services. With this non-custodial wallet, users can deposit cash and hold the funds as USDC, allowing them to decide when to transfer it into a different currency. The wallet will have “know-your-customer” requirements and only be compatible with other MoneyGram wallets, limiting its functionality within the broader crypto ecosystem but also shielding the company from regulatory scrutiny. MoneyGram has been working to reduce costs associated with remittances, with the average global cost to consumers around 3%, lower than the industry average of 6.3%.
The non-custodial wallet will initially be limited to countries with digital KYC capacity, currently around 40. MoneyGram’s CEO envisions transforming the company into a global ATM concept using blockchain technology. The wallet represents the next step in MoneyGram’s experimentation on leveraging blockchain to allow users to move funds globally, while still recognizing the need for users to ultimately end up with cash rather than cryptocurrencies.