Sep 14 , 2010

Ria offers remittances via Cash Store Financial

Ria Financial Services, the remittances arm of U.S-based payments processor Euronet Worldwide, has signed a deal to supply money transfer services across Cash Store Financial’s Canadian network of 523 The Cash Store and Instaloans branches.

The agreement, which took effect from September 1, 2010, has a seven-year term.

Edmonton, Alberta-based Cash Store Financial’s main business is to provide access to short-term unsecured loans and other financial services products to income-earning consumers who may not be able to obtain them from traditional banks. The company also issues a private-label debit card, the Freedom card, and a prepaid credit card, the Freedom MasterCard, along with services such as cheque-cashing, and bank accounts provided through Calgary, Alberta-based DC Bank.

Tim Fanning, Ria’s Chief Operating Officer, tells Payments Business that Ria replaces Western Union as provider of international money transfer services at Cash Store Financial’s branches. “There were 90 branches where Cash Store Financial was not allowed to provide remittance services, due to Western Union having nearby branches of its own with high customer volumes,” he says. “Under the terms of its deal with Ria, Cash Store Financial can now offer remittance services at all its Canadian branches.”

According to a statement, prior to the agreement with Ria, Cash Store Financial was handling over 30,000 transfers a month, not including the 90 stores that will now be able to process remittances via Ria.

Fanning says that in addition to Cash Store Financial, Ria offers remittance services at convenience stores across Canada, as well as at the 10 branches of Quebec-based Rapide Cheque. “The top destinations for remittances for our customers in Canada are the U.S., followed by the Philippines, Jamaica, Haiti, El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico,” Fanning says.

According to Fanning, around 3 million to 3.5 million family remittance transactions take place per year in Canada, of which 75 percent are outbound. “The remainder are either in-bound or internal to Canada,” he says. “Ria’s own experience is that the Canadian remittance market has made significant growth in recent years.”

The figures refer to the entire Canadian market, not just to Ria’s own transactions, Fanning says.

The rise in seasonal migration from Latin American countries such as Mexico is a major factor in the growth in remittance traffic from Canada, according to Fanning.




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