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MoneyGram Reopens Transfer Service to Afghanistan

MoneyGram has resumed its transfer services in Afghanistan as of Thursday (Sept. 2), the company announced on Twitter.

— MoneyGram International (@MoneyGram) September 2, 2021

The company said the decision was informed by guidance from the U.S. government. Moneygram will be resuming services in coordination with its partners in the country as well as the Afghanistan Banks Association (ABA).

MoneyGram said it recognizes that remittances are crucial for the Afghan peoples’ livelihoods and daily goings-on. It announced that its decision to suspend its services there was not made lightly and that it is glad to be able to reopen.

Parent company Western Union ceased operations in Afghanistan two weeks ago when the country was overtaken by the Taliban as President Joe Biden announced the U.S.’s retreat from the country after 20 years of occupation there.

Read more: Western Union Restarts Money Transfers to Afghanistan After 2-Week Hiatus

However, as the Taliban have now firmly seized control, the banks in Afghanistan have reopened. That, along with the U.S. plans to offer humanitarian assistance, have spurred the companies to resume offering services.

“Much of our business involving Afghanistan is low-value family and support remittances that support basic needs of the people there, so that’s the grounding that we have and why we want to reopen our business,” said Jean Claude Farah, Western Union’s president in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “We’ve engaged with the U.S. government, which has conveyed that allowing humanitarian activities, including remittances, to continue are consistent with U.S. policy.”

In related news, Western Union plans to keep focusing on digitization.

Read more: Western Union CFO on Thinking Outside the Box to Digitize the Enterprise

Western Union did away with paper processes in its back office before the beginning of the pandemic, and the pandemic only expedited the need to use the digital channels to connect with customers, although Executive Vice President Raj Agrawal told PYMNTS that digitization was already part of the strategy anyway.

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