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MoneyGram taps budding fintech to grow its presence in Jamaica

The news: MoneyGram will let customers in Jamaica receive remittances through homegrown mobile wallet Lynk, per a press release. The wallet offers peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, retail payments, and bill pay.

Why it matters: Despite launching just over a year ago, Lynk has the potential to be a formidable player in Jamaica’s mobile wallet space. It reached $9.8 million in payments volume and was the third-most-popular financial Android app in Jamaica, according to web analytics firm Similarweb.

It could be a valuable partner for MoneyGram. Here’s why:

  • Lynk supports financial inclusion. The wallet doesn’t charge any transfer fees and doesn’t require a bank account or internet access. This can remove barriers to digital payments for the 17% of Jamaica’s population who lack bank accounts and the roughly 25% who don’t have reliable internet access, per the Caribbean Policy Research Institute.
  • Its connection with National Commercial Bank (NCB) gives it a competitive edge. NCB is Jamaica’s biggest bank and powers Lynk. It gives Lynk customers access to a large ATM network, where they can top up or withdraw funds from their wallets. NCB might also make Lynk seem like a more reputable and reliable wallet than other providers.

MoneyGram’s opportunity: Working with Lynk will give MoneyGram broader access to Jamaica’s remittance sector as the wallet grows, which can help it rake in more volume. The country’s remittance inflow was $3.44 billion in 2022, according to the Bank of Jamaica.

  • Tie-ups with digital wallets like Lynk will become more important for MoneyGram as its digital remittances become a larger part of its business: The firm’s digital money transfer transactions increased 47% year over year (YoY) in Q4, compared with 29% the year before.
  • Partnerships will also help MoneyGram compete with digital upstarts like Wise and Remitly, which have been gaining market share.

Lynk’s benefit: Partnering with MoneyGram can help Lynk offer more services.

Adding remittances can make the wallet more attractive and useful because remittances are a core part of Jamaica’s economy: Personal remittances accounted for 25.3% of Jamaica’s gross domestic product in 2018, per the latest World Bank data.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Payments Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the payments industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.