According to data from the World Bank, Romania has been one of the most dynamic money transfer markets in Europe for the past year, placing fifth among CEE countries, MoneyGram representatives announced during a press conference.
In recent years, Romania has seen a significant increase in money transfers due to an increase in the Diaspora community, official figures provided by the World Bank estimating that the number of Romanians abroad reached 3.4 million people, who transferred about USD 3.4 billion to Romania in 2014.
Transfers came from Italy (USD 1 billion), Spain (USD 792 million) and Germany (USD 451 million), while the largest transfers from Romania to other countries came from Spain (USD 127 million), Moldova (USD 109 million) and Italy (USD 71 million).
However, this year there has been a shift in destinations, Radu Pojoga, MoneyGram regional director for Southeast Europe said during the conference.
“We see a trend of Romanians working in Spain, Italy, Greece and the Southern countries going to Northern Europe, in Germany, UK, Sweden and Norway. Where the money is Romanians go,” said Pojoga.
MoneyGram has recently opened a new office in Romania, celebrating the 3,500 partner locations its network has across Romania.
The average value of transactions made through MoneyGram money transfer service is EUR 300, similar to last year. At the same time, the company’s business in the first nine months increased by 20 percent over the same period last year.
Most transfers are performed during Easter and Christmas and during the summer, when Romanians go to Spain or Italy for seasonal work.
MoneyGram business is divided into three segments, namely banking (collaborationg with BCR, UniCredit Bank, Alpha Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, Libra Bank and Marfin Bank), retail (Carrefour, Orange) and the Forex segment (Speed Transfer, Smith & Smith and exchange houses).
The largest share, about 50 percent, are transfers via retail (including forex) due to extended work program and hours during the weekend.