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4 new post offices in 2010
After a year of grueling negotiations and bargaining rates, Cyprus Post has started offering MoneyGram money transfers in all its 50 locations, entering the remittance business valued at EUR 280 mln a year.

Postal Director Andreas Gregoriou said that five district post offices already operate in afternoons and Saturdays and will open on the first and last Sunday of each month in order to serve students and foreign workers.

Gregoriou said at a joint press conference in Nicosia with MoneyGram officials that Cyprus Post plans to open four new post offices next year in Peyia, Kiti, Ay. Trimithias and Ypsonas, raising the total to 56, including two seasonal post offices that close in winter.

“And all this, without the need to hire new staff, that will increase our revenue earning capabilities,” Gregoriou said, as Communications Minister Nicos Nicolaides listened.

“Our cooperation with MoneyGram International is a strategic move that sees us providing value added services. There will be synergies and an increase in the quality of services we offer,” he said, adding that this is just the beginning, with other ‘new services’ to be announced soon.

The minister said that this cooperation was a “sustainable step towards modernising the postal service that will be ready to compete in an open market as from January 1, 2013.”

“We ought to keep pace with the times and the challenges in Cyprus, but we remain committed to every small community and village where we already offer a modern service,” Nicolaides said.

The new agreement has more than doubled the MoneyGram agent locations in Cyprus, building on the existing cooperation with Ellinas Finance that dates back to 2003, said John Hempsey, MoneyGram International’s CEO.

He said that the cooperation with both Ellinas Finance and Cyprus Post will continue, as this combination has been tested successfully in other countries as well where MoneyGram has partnered with the local post offices, such as the UK, Italy, Canada, Poland, Ukraine and others.

“It seems Cyprus has weathered the (global economic) storm well. We see great opportunity here. The remittance business continues to grow and has been on an upward swing for the last decade in Cyprus,” Hempsey said.

“Cyprus Post has several attributes – people trust it and it is a great compliment to our existing network,” he said, adding that for the past few months of intensive training, Cyprus Post staff have been integrating their systems with the MoneyGram International centre in Minneapolis.

“We have launched quite an aggressive pricing policy which is very competitive,” Hempsey concluded.
To send up to 1,500 euros to India, Nepal, Pakistan or Bangladesh, the MoneyGram fee is just 8.50 euros, while for Sri Lanka it is 7.90 euros.

In addition, when sending money from Cyprus to the Philippines, MoneyGram can deliver direct to the home of the recipient or via an ATM card.

December 08, 2009 - www.financialmirror.com

|||Cyprus Post starts MoneyGram service
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