How to send money With MoneyGram


If you need to remit money home, or make an international transfer for any reason, you might be wondering how to use MoneyGram to make cross border payments. MoneyGram has many agent locations in Australia and around the world, so you can send or receive money in person, or arrange transfers online for convenience.

This article covers everything you might want to know about MoneyGram, including key questions such as:

  • What is MoneyGram and where can I find a MoneyGram agent?
  • How does MoneyGram work, and what will a transfer cost me?
  • What’s the MoneyGram rate for currency conversion?

We will model a MoneyGram payment, so you can see the pricing structure, and also offer an alternative for comparison - Wise. More on quick, low cost international transfers with Wise coming up. Let’s get started.

Sending from MoneyGram, what’s the big deal?

MoneyGram is a well known international payment provider, with over 350,000 agent locations in 200 countries around the world. In Australia, agent locations include some branches of 7-Eleven and Travel Money Oz - and anywhere else you see the MoneyGram sign.¹

With MoneyGram you can send money in person or online, and have it paid to your recipient in local cash. It’ll often arrive in just a few minutes, so your recipient can get their payment quickly if they need it. You can also make your payment into a mobile wallet, or directly into your recipient’s bank account for convenience if you prefer.

Not all services are available in all countries, so you’ll need to check exactly what’s available in the country you’re sending money to. It’s worth knowing that there may also be local laws in the destination country, which restrict the amount of money you can send. This will mean there’s a limit to the value of transfers you can arrange with MoneyGram.

Getting started with MoneyGram

If you want to make a payment online, you’ll need to register and may have to upload an image of your identity document to get started. Customers visiting a MoneyGram location to make an international transfer will have to have an official ID with them for verification purposes.³

You’ll be able to choose how your recipient will get their money, based on the options available in their country. These may be bank transfer, cash collection, or delivery to a mobile wallet, for example. Then you can model the payment to check the fees and exchange rate on offer for your particular transaction. If you’re happy to go ahead, you’ll enter the required details, confirm the transfer, and make payment.

For bank transfers you will need to have the recipient’s full details on hand, including their name as on the account, account number, sort code and any other relevant details based on their location, such as an IBAN.

If your recipient will collect the money in local cash, you’ll need to confirm their full name as shown on their government issued ID document. You’ll be given a reference number when the payment is confirmed, which you pass securely to the recipient.³

If you’re sending to a mobile wallet - available in Kenya, Romania, Tanzania and Zimbabwe - you’ll need to give the full mobile number and international code for the payment to arrive safely.

How to receive a payment

Bank transfers and mobile wallet payments are automatically carried out once confirmed, so the money will arrive in your recipient’s account without any further action.

If your recipient will collect the payment in cash, they’ll have to go to their nearest MoneyGram agent, and confirm the reference number which was given to you when you arranged the payment. They will also be asked to show official ID to receive their money.

Fees and Rates

Make sure you know the fees for any international payment service you choose - here’s what you need to know about using MoneyGram for cross border payments:

Fee typeMoneyGram Costs
Transfer fee⁴Fees depend on how the transfer is arranged, including how much you’re sending, and the destination country. For example, sending AUD1,000 to India funded using a bank transfer or card will cost AUD1. The same payment arranged in a MoneyGram location will cost AUD18 You can model the payment you wish to make online before you arrange it.
Exchange rate margins⁵Before you agree to a transfer, the agent will confirm the exchange rate they will use. If you’re arranging the payment online, the exchange rate will be displayed before you complete the payment. This rate might include a markup added to the mid-market exchange rate. More on that, and why it matters, later.
Card fees⁴Some credit card providers might charge their own fees if you use a card to fund a MoneyGram payment. These may be cash advance charges or interest fees. Check with your card provider to see if this applies to you.
Possible SWIFT fees or recipient charges⁴If you’re sending money direct to a recipient’s bank account you may be liable for SWIFT charges applied by intermediary banks or the recipient’s own bank. Usually providers can’t tell you in advance if there will be any further charge, or what the SWIFT costs might be.

MoneyGram exchange rates

You’ll notice we mention the exchange rates used by MoneyGram might include a markup. This means that MoneyGram will add a margin to the rate they get themselves when they buy foreign currency, to calculate the exchange rate passed on to customers. They’ll keep the difference as profit.⁵

This is not unusual at all - in fact many banks and payment providers do it. But it can mean your international transfer costs more than you’re expecting because the exchange rate isn’t the same as you’ve found using an online currency converter.

Before you confirm your MoneyGram transfer, it can pay to check the exchange rate against the google rate, and compare it to alternative providers to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.

It’s worth looking at Wise if you’re planning on sending money direct to a recipient’s bank account, as Transferwise international payments all use the mid-market exchange rate with no markup. This makes it easier to see the real cost of the transaction, and it can work out cheaper, too. There’s more on this later, including an example transfer so you can see the impact of a marked up exchange rate on what the recipient ultimately gets in their account.

Sending money online or in person?

You can choose to send money either online or in person by visiting a MoneyGram location. It’s worth looking at the costs of doing both, because these can vary, with payments made at an agent location typically more expensive than those arranged using the website or app.

How much will a transfer cost with MoneyGram

The easiest way to compare different international payment providers is to model the payment you want to make. This is often possible online, and can quickly help you understand the different exchange rates and fees used by different payment providers.

Here we look at one payment, a transfer from Australia to the UK, and see how much the recipient will get in the end using MoneyGram versus using Wise:

Transfer detailsExchange rate usedTransfer fees and total costRecipient will get
AUD1,000 sent to the UK using MoneyGram1 AUD = 0.53 GBP⁴Fee to pay using bank transfer, credit or debit card - AUD1 Total cost AUD1001⁴GBP527.99⁴
AUD1,000 sent to the UK using Wise1 AUD = 0.54667 GBPFee to pay using bank transfer - AUD5.68 Fee to pay using debit card - AUD9.64 Fee to pay using credit card - AUD14.56 Fee is deducted from the total paid, so the cost is always AUD1000Funded by bank transfer: GBP543.72 Funded by debit card: GBP541.40 Funded by credit card: GBP538.71

(Exchange rates and fees correct at time of research - 18 June 2019)

In this example, it’s clear to see how important it is to look at the exchange rate used, as well as the upfront fees. Many providers prefer to advertise a low transfer fee, and wrap their profit up in the exchange rate they use. This makes it hard to see the real cost of the transfer.

However, there are services available like Wise which choose to give customers the mid-market exchange rate, and add a transparent fee which covers the full cost of the transaction. A good exchange rate can mean your recipient gets more in the end, even if the quoted fees are a little higher.

Wise can also make it even easier to send and receive international payments, if you get yourself an online multi-currency borderless account. This account lets you hold money in over 40 different currencies, and switch between them when you want to, using the mid-market exchange rate. There’s just a small upfront fee to pay per transaction. You can also send and receive payments all over the world, and even get your own local bank details for the UK, US, New Zealand and the euro area, to make receiving payments simple.

When you’re shopping around for the best international payment provider for your needs, remember to look at the full costs, including any exchange rate markup, to make sure you’re getting a good deal. While finding a payment service will be easy enough, it’s worth doing a little research to help you find one which will save you money - and offer the convenience and speed you need. Check out Wise to see if you can cut the costs of your cross border payments.







All sources accurate as of 18 June 2019

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location