How Jack Ma’s Acquisition Of US-Based MoneyGram Could Be Good For Africans
China’s richest man, Jack Ma, and his acquisition of U.S.-based money transfer firm MoneyGram show the importance of remittances as a powerful driver of economic change at both the individual and international level, according to the competition.
Ma’s Ant Financial acquired MoneyGram for $880 million on Jan. 26, 2017. MoneyGram is the second largest provider of money transfers in the world, operating in more than 200 countries with about 347,000 offices.
Part of the fast-growing Alibaba Group and parent of AliPay, Ant Financial is stepping up its international expansion with the acquisition, Bloomberg reported.
The will connect MoneyGram’s network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts with Ant’s customers, who will be able to use a variety of tech-based financial services including payments, credit and insurance products. The combination will provide consumers in over 200 countries and territories with financial services, furthering Ant’s objective to become the leading platform of its kind in the world, Crowdfund Insider reported.
MoneyGram specializes in sending money from immigrants back to their home countries, according to the New York Times. MoneyGram gives Ant a base with connections to many developing markets. If Ant Financial expands access to mobile money, it could mean that even more people will receive remittances on their mobile money accounts, and that will be good for Ismail Ahmed.