You can now use MoneyGram to send money to someone’s debit card

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A company known for dealing in cash moves into digital transfer

Owe your friend $50 dollars because you lost a bet? It may be harder to find an excuse not to pay.

MoneyGram and Visa have announced a partnership that will allow consumers to send money through MoneyGram to an eligible Visa debit card linked to a bank account. In announcing the new service, MoneyGram said consumers will be able to send cash to over a billion accounts around the world.

MoneyGram has historically been a way for people to send cash to others. Over the last two decades, however, it became a favorite way for scammers to receive money from their victims. New safeguards are in place now to make that less likely.

The New person-to-person (P2P) money transfer service may be harder for scammers to exploit since very few criminals use traceable bank accounts and the person receiving money under the new service must have a bank account.

Another way to send money

With fewer consumers using cash to make purchases MoneyGram sees the Visa partnership as a way to make it easy for consumers to send and receive money.

"We strive to create the best possible experience for sending and receiving money, and this new product offering empowers our customers by giving them yet another way to send money to friends and family," said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram chairman and CEO. "And in partnering with Visa, the world's leader in digital payments, we're providing our customers with a dependable option that they know and trust."

Visa also sees it as a partnership that makes sense. Bill Sheley, a Visa senior vice president, predicts consumers will like both the convenience and peace of mind it offers. The fee for making a money transaction will be $1.99.

Visa and MoneyGram are joining a party that’s been going on for quite some time with an ever-increasing number of players. PayPal is among the first to set up P2P payments and is still going strong today.

Millennials tend to be the biggest users of Venmo, a more recent P2P offering that is often used to split bar tabs and pizza bills. The days of writing a check or peeling a $50 bill from your wallet to settle a bet may be numbered.

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