Ant Financial Sends Out Open Letter to Woo MoneyGram

Ant Financial really, really wants to buy MoneyGram: just take a look at the open letter it issued to the money transfer service this morning.

As a leading digital payments company, Ant Financial’s users are global and increasingly looking to transfer money around the world – which is what MoneyGram does best, the letter opens. We want to take a moment to tell you why we are thrilled to pursue our shared vision of global financial inclusion.

Ant goes on to describe all of the things it values about its new potential beau—which is also being courted for acquisition by e-payments provider Euronet WorldWide.

Ant’s letter does not mention Euronet by name, and neither did its initial response to Euronet’s counter-proposal when it was offered in March, shooting over Ant’s original offer.

In its offer, Euronet noted that a partnership with them would probably be less of a regulatory headache for MoneyGram, than a partnership with Ant (Euronet is a U.S.-based company, while Ant is based in China), so Ant took particular care to mention its current smooth relationships with U.S. companies:

If you need an example of our partnerships in the U.S., look no further than Kansas City-based EyeVerify. Since acquiring them last year, we have made significant investments in the business, nearly doubled its workforce in the U.S. and helped grow this American start-up into a stronger company. We intend to do the same with MoneyGram – and we are excited to help MoneyGram expand its business globally for the digital future of the remittance industry.

Ant also noted that it aims to “further invest in MoneyGram’s global compliance and anti-money laundering programs.”

The company’s partnership with EyeVerify, a biometric technology provider, marked its first big move into the U.S. market; however, EyeVerify is  not responsible for moving money cross-border. MoneyGram is, which make the regulations in play a touch more complex.

Ant also noted that any data “collected on MoneyGram users in the U.S. will continue to reside on the same ironclad U.S.-based servers” that it does today, a worry that the money transfer service has reportedly expressed as talks progress with Euronet.

The letter is signed off by Douglas Feagin, SVP of international operations for Ant Financial. Bank Innovation reached out to the company for comment.

As yet, there has been no response by Euronet about Ant’s move. (Maybe it will send flowers.)

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Grace Noto is Associate Editor of Bank Innovation. She has an MA from the University of Essex, as well as BA in English and a BA in Journalism from SUNY New Paltz. Prior to joining Bank Innovation in the summer of 2016, she worked on Electronic Products Magazine, an online publication surrounding technology and computer engineering, and has worked for other publications, including the Poughkeepsie Journal. She also writes in her spare time, and really needs more hobbies.

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