The National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia, the largest bank in the Arab World, and MoneyGram International, the second largest and fastest growing global remittance service, have launched a strategic alliance. It combines the national network of NCB’s Quickpay centres with MoneyGram’s world-wide outlets. Unlike all other remittance services currently operating in Saudi Arabia, the MoneyGram-Quickpay money transfer can be done entirely without standing in a queue (after the one-time registration) and empowers the sender with its unique convenience and easy operation, by using any one of 1,400 NCB ATMs across Saudi Arabia, or by telephone and also online.
The Kingdom is home to well over six million expatriates and remittances to beneficiaries abroad grew to more than $17 billion by the end of 2006 (according to the world bank). In addition to the fact that nearly 27% of Saudi Arabia’s population is foreign-born, the demand for money transfer services is also driven by the growing number of Saudis studying, travelling and working outside the country.
Speaking at the launch of the Quickpay-MoneyGram service, Omar Mohammed Hashem, Senior Vice President and Head of the Electronic Transaction Banking Division of NCB , hailed the alliance with MoneyGram as a significant new extension of NCB’s flourishing Quickpay remittance service:
“Together with MoneyGram, we can now claim to offer our customers simply the best way to send their money to loved ones back home, using the largest money transfer network in Saudi Arabia . We have removed the inconvenience of standing in line during office hours and offer expatriate clients a service which is secure and quick; but above all flexible and tailored to their needs.”
Anthony Ryan (President and CEO of MoneyGram International) headed the senior management delegation which came to Jeddah, from New York, London, Paris and Dubai. He highlighted the importance of the MoneyGram-NCB agreement:
“Saudi Arabia is the second largest send market in the world, and our alliance with a premier financial institution like the National Commercial Bank represents a significant opportunity for MoneyGram’s expansion plans in the Middle East. MoneyGram has made a substantial investment in the Kingdom and is committed to a long-term association with both our customers and our esteemed Saudi associates.”
Other attendees from MoneyGram International were John Hempsey (CEO of MoneyGram International Limited, from London), who flew in with Richard Meredith (Regional Director for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan) and Ananth Srivatsa (Regional Marketing Manager), from Dubai.
Mr Ryan continued:
“We are fortunate to be able to ally ourselves with the Kingdom’s leading bank in this dynamic and mutually beneficial venture. The ultimate winners in this scenario are the expatriate users, who have never before experienced such flexibility in sending money to their loved ones back home. Speed and security of transmission are standard to the industry, but now for the first time, clients can successfully fulfill their remittance requirements at their own convenience. Money is deposited at Quickpay and then received within ten minutes at any one of our 180,000 MoneyGram locations, worldwide. The new service will be available in Saudi Arabia all day and every day.”
At the conclusion of the launch conference, which also featured prominent members of the local media, consular and governmental representatives as well as opinion formers from the Indian, Pakistani, Pilipino, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and Indonesian communities (plus Arab delegates), the media and other interested parties were invited to witness a live demonstration of the new remittance service at the nearby Quickpay centre.
Quickpay-MoneyGram staff will be on hand at Quickpay outlets, Kingdom-wide, and will assist prospective users of the new service (in a variety of expat languages) when they perform the all-important initial registration. This is the only time that a client has to come into an actual centre – all other transactions will be performed via NCB ATMs, by telephone (simply dial 9200 00330) or online.
Clients will receive an ATM card which confirms their registration and enables them to use the new service to send money. They may load their card with cash (without the necessity of having an NCB account) at any Quickpay registration centre or deposit actual cash at over 700 cash deposit machines. Remittance is then simply a matter of pushing the button.
At the time of registration, staff will always be available to explain the workings of the machines to anyone who is unfamiliar, or unsure, of how to operate the super-convenient service.
The National Commercial Bank
The National Commercial Bank is the most prominent of Saudi banks and was the first bank established in Saudi Arabia. The Bank initiated business in the name of "The National Commercial Bank" under Royal Decree on 20 Rabi Thani 1373H (26 December 1953). The initial paid-up capital for NCB was SR 30 million (US$ 8 million). Since its establishment, the bank has maintained its legal structure as General Partnership until it was converted into a Saudi Joint Stock Company in 1997, as a first step towards an initial public offering (IPO). In 1999, the Government, through the Ministry of Finance's Public Investment Fund (PIF), acquired a majority holding in the bank. Further information from www.alahli.com
MoneyGram International offers more control and more choices for people separated from friends and family by distance or those with limited banking relationships to meet their financial needs. A leading global provider of money transfer services, MoneyGram International helps consumers to safely send money around the world in as little as 10 minutes. Its global network is comprised of 180,000 agent locations in 190 countries and territories. MoneyGram’s convenient and reliable network includes retailers, international post offices and financial institutions. To learn more about money transfer at an agent location, please visit www.moneygram.com
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