Financial services company MoneyGram International confirmed that it has partnered with the Stellar Development Foundation to let consumers send money using Circle’s popular stablecoin USDC, and change directly and readily to and from fiat. This partnership will enable customers to fund and withdraw from their accounts using the stablecoin at physical branches.
Based on an October 6 announcement, MoneyGram has joined support enabling cryptocurrency wallets that are connected to the Stellar Network to access its global retail platform. Working with Circle will enable MoneyGram to offer “near-instant backend settlement,” account funding coupled with local fiat withdrawals using the USD Coin stable token.
United Texas Bank will operate as the settlement bank to complete the process within the regulatory infrastructure. The chairman and CEO of MoneyGram, Alex Holmes, said:
“As crypto and digital currencies rise in prominence, we’re especially optimistic about the potential of stablecoins as a method to streamline cross-border payments.”
This partnership is expected to launch by the end of 2021 in several jurisdictions, with an expanded international rollout planned in 2022. CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation, Denelle Dixon, said:
“A new segment of cash users will be able to convert their cash into and out of USDC, giving them access to fast and affordable digital asset services that may have previously been out of reach.”
The integration between MoneyGram and Stellar comes a few months after the company moved to enable customers to withdraw cryptocurrency assets for cash through its point-of-sale outlets in the US. This service was rolled out in partnership with Bitcoin ATM and cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinme.
MoneyGram is not new to blockchain technology. The company partnered with distributed ledger technology Ripple in June 2019 to work on cross-border payments and foreign exchange settlements with various digital assets.
Nevertheless, the deal rapidly went south as a result of the uncertainty about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit focusing on Ripple. MoneyGram suspended support for Ripple’s platform in the first quarter of 2021.
Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb launched Stellar after his tumultuous departure from Ripple in 2014. On October 4, Circle published filings revealing that it is cooperating with a subpoena from the SEC that it got in July.