Ripple rival Stellar powers MoneyGram’s new global on/off-ramp service

Rick Steves

Digital wallet users can move from cash to cryptocurrency, to cash again, without requiring a bank account or credit card.

MoneyGram has rolled out a global on/off-ramp service for digital wallets to increase the utility of digital assets by creating a bridge between cash and cryptocurrencies.

The blockchain specialist partnering with the P2P payments giant is the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), founded by Jed McCaleb to support the development and growth of Stellar, an open-source public blockchain that allows money to be tokenized and transferred globally, and XRP rival.

The product of the partnership between MoneyGram and SDF announced in October 2021 is now available in a number of key remittance markets, including Canada, Kenya, Philippines and the U.S. for the first wave of users, with global cash-out functionality expected to be available by the end of June 2022.

The global on/off-ramp service for digital wallets is powered by the Stellar blockchain and Stellar-enabled digital wallets, MoneyGram’s retail agent network, and Circle’s USD Coin (USDC).

The service provides cash users access to the world of cryptocurrency via any participating MoneyGram location, in a monumental step towards bridging the gap between physical and digital currencies.

The solution aims to further financial inclusion, creating fluidity between cash and crypto so more people can benefit from the digital economy. MoneyGram will offer this as a zero-fee service for the first 12 months.

Almost 2 billion people rely on cash for their livelihood

Alex Holmes, Chairman and CEO at MoneyGram, commented: “We’re thrilled to work alongside the Stellar Development Foundation on this important initiative to bring more opportunities to consumers around the world by making the worlds of crypto and local fiat currency compatible. At MoneyGram, we’re on a mission to deliver innovative financial solutions that connect the world’s communities, and the initial launch of this service is another important milestone on our journey. It’s especially exciting to launch this service ahead of schedule due to the strong collaboration of our technology teams, and we look forward to further collaboration with SDF as we work on uncovering new ways to utilize blockchain to further streamline cross-border payments.”

Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation, said: “A much-needed solution to the cash-to-crypto on/off-ramp problem is here. Today, almost 2 billion people rely on cash for their livelihood, with no options to access the digital economy. At the same time, a persistent pain point for crypto-native users is off-ramping cryptocurrency quickly and reliably. The groundbreaking nature of this service is how it solves problems for a range of users with varying needs around the world.”

The innovation behind the global on/off-ramp service lies in the settlement process, which will occur in near-real-time using USDC to accelerate the collection of funds. Digital wallet users can move from cash to cryptocurrency, to cash again, without requiring a bank account or credit card.

Consumers can now go into a MoneyGram location to either load their digital wallets to access the digital economy, or cash-out their digital currencies to increase the utility of their holdings.

MoneyGram will expand access to the cash-in service into seven more countries by the end of June, at which point cash-out functionality will also be available globally, where permitted by law.

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