MoneyGram expands loyalty program into Canada

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Global payment company MoneyGram International has launched its MoneyGram Rewards program in Canada. The program currently runs in the US, Germany, Spain and France.

Users can sign up for the program by phone, Web or at an agent location. Users receive a loyalty card that tracks the number of money transfers the user completes. Users receive a 5% discount on the money transfer fee for the third through fifth transfers and a 10% discount on the sixth transfer and any thereafter.

Brent Carter, director of loyalty and database marketing for Moneygram, said the company has three goals for the program: savings, speed and service. As part of its “receive notice” service, once a money transfer is picked up by the recipient, the sender can opt in to receive and e-mail or text message from MoneyGram.

“When you're sending money it's usually to someone abroad, or who you're not going to see immediately,” Carter said, “ so we send a notification when it's picked up which can give people peace of mind.”

MoneyGram signed an agreement in 2008 with the Canada Post in August of 2008 to expand its services from 1,000 post offices to 5,000. Andrew Johnsen, marketing manager for MoneyGram International in Canada, said the number is soon to be 6,000.

The company has a Web site for the program, on which users can see their transaction history, change preferences, order replacement cards and look up their rewards number if it's lost.

Carter said the company uses traditional media outlets like TV, print, radio and events to market the program. They also post information, posters and brochures at the point of sale in agent locations. “We also have a strong focus in direct mail and e-mail and hope to explore more as it relates to mobile and SMS, because our consumers are transient in nature,” he explained.

Carter said the target audience is domestic immigrants that send money back home.

MoneyGram has worked with Epsilon as its database service provider since the end of 2005, Carter said.

The program launched in the US in 2008 and has 3.5 million members, Johnsen said. Programs in Germany and France launched in June 2009 and Spain in July 2009.

“We hope to expand the loyalty program into two new markets, Italy and the UK in 2010,” he added.

Currently MoneyGram has a presence in 183 countries and has more than 183,000 locations around the world.

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