PayPal bolsters offline payment arsenal via new partnership with MoneyGram

Online payment king PayPal has strengthened its offline presence, announcing a new partnership with MoneyGram, the world's second largest money transfer firm.

In the future, PayPal customers will have the ability to load, move, and access funds at MoneyGram's 284,000 global locations - spread across more than 195 countries - using a mobile number or email address. The new service is expected to be trialled in the US in 2013 before a gradual international rollout, according to the firm's blog.

"This latest initiative with MoneyGram is another example of how we're enabling our digital wallet to work across multiple platforms and devices, online and offline, in order to offer consumers more control, flexibility and functionality when interacting with their money," wrote Dan Schatt, head of financial innovations at PayPal.

Mr Schatt continued: "For instance, our bank partners will be able to offer real-time money movement capabilities to be picked up at any MoneyGram location, and our retailer partners will benefit from the ease by which PayPal consumers and businesses can now access their cash to engage and shop more across all channels."

PayPal – a wholly owned subsidiary of tax-haven enthusiast eBay since 2002 – is currently experimenting with a number of new payment channels, recently releasing an app that enables users of Android and iOS devices to pay for their transactions at over 230 UK high street stores.

The digital finance hub is also using French branches of global fast food giant McDonald's to trial mobile payment systems, and launched an awareness campaign alongside Barclaycard aimed at raising awareness of NFC payment possibilities in Britain – recent reports indicate that only 8 per cent of UK McDonald's customers know they have the ability to pay for their Happy Meal via a simple swipe.