Q&A with Chairman and CEO of MoneyGram, Alex Holmes

Aug 17, 2022

Alex Holmes is the Chairman and CEO of MoneyGram International, one of the world’s leading brands that powers cross-border money transfers, having served more than 150 million people over the past five years. Under his leadership, MoneyGram has successfully executed its digital transformation and rapidly evolved its business model to deliver innovative financial solutions that connect the world's communities.

01. MoneyGram has been an anchor in the remittance space for decades enabling consumers to move money around the world. How do you see the Techstars Payments accelerator driving further innovation in the payments and remittance industry?

MoneyGram services are a true lifeline for millions of families around the world, and we’re committed to continuing to innovate and disrupt ourselves to ensure we’re offering the best possible options for consumers. Through the Techstars Payments accelerator, we’re hoping to empower the next generation of innovators to help uncover new methods to use blockchain and next-gen technologies to further streamline cross-border payments, increase accessibility of financial services, and drive innovation in the industry. Specifically, we’re looking forward to expanding our partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) to serve as sponsors and mentors to the participating founders and to offer our collective expertise to spur creative solutions.

02. Blockchain and other technologies are quickly transforming the financial industry. What technologies is MoneyGram most excited and optimistic for? Where do you see the greatest innovation happening in the future of payments?

We believe blockchain has the potential to change how money moves around the world, and digital currencies have the potential to change the way we view money itself. In fact, MoneyGram was the first company to utilize blockchain technology at scale for cross-border payments. Many predicted that these technologies would pose a threat to traditional financial services, but MoneyGram has decided to play a leading part of that change by leveraging our global cross-border capabilities to revolutionize payments enabling seamless interoperability between the current financial system and digital currencies. Looking ahead, we’re extremely optimistic about the potential for blockchain to help further streamline cross-border payments – helping to continue to decrease costs, increase the speed of transactions and more.

03. Founders want access to innovative corporations, but as you know startups move fast and don’t always have the ability or the resources to engage large organizations. What advice would you give to a company that wants to work with MoneyGram?

When partnering with a larger organization, I recommend that startups don’t just look to partner with a company for its name recognition. Instead, make sure the organization shares similar values as your startup and that the organization is motivated (and able) to move quickly and make things happen. So, when partnering with any company – MoneyGram included – it’s important to do your research at the start.

At MoneyGram, we’re on a mission to deliver innovative financial solutions that connect the world’s communities. Partnering with leading fintech companies around the world is a critical component of our strategy, and we have a demonstrated history of working on collaborations that pose opportunities for growth and progress in the payments industry. If that sounds of interest to you, we’d love for you to check us (and SDF) out, as well as our open Techstars Payments accelerator, to see if a collaboration with your startup might be a fit.   

04. You recently announced a large partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation. How do you see this partnership transforming the remittance and payments ecosystem?

Our partnership with SDF furthers our efforts to accomplish our strategic priorities to pioneer cross-border payment innovation and blockchain-enabled settlement. Currently, over 2B people worldwide depend on cash for their livelihoods, without easy access to the digital economy – we’ve teamed up to create a solution that bridges the gap between the cash and crypto economies through a first-of-its-kind global on/off-ramp service for digital wallets. This partnership also revolutionizes the settlement process, as for or the first time, settlement with MoneyGram occurs in near-real-time.

Join us for an Ask Me Anything on August 24th to learn more about the Techstars Payments powered by Stellar and MoneyGram program. Register here!