Undercuts MoneyGram, Western Union with 3.5% commission
UNIStream Cyprus Ltd., affiliate of the Moscow-based international money transfer company, has launched its operations in Cyprus, operating four service points in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos that will challenge the pair of established companies, MoneyGram and Western Union.
The money transfer business, that charges fees of up to 8% per CYP 100 (EUR 170) transfer, is popular among Asian, east European and CIS workers who send money home, as well as for students who need urgent funds when studying abroad.
“Our commissions are lower than our competitors and this is the reason why Unistream System has expanded so rapidly in all the countries in which it is operating. The commission rate depends on the country of remittance averaging around 3.5%,” said the managing director of UNIStream Cyprus, Constantinos Tsaggaris.
Initially, UNIStream will operate two service points in Nicosia, one in Paphos and one in Limassol, but the company plans to develop a nation-wide network from where the full set of UNIStream’s services will be made available. The aim is to expand with own outlets and authorized agents to cover the whole of Cyprus.
“Nowadays, the money transfers market is one of the most dynamic segments of the European economy. With a great potential, it features enormous opportunities for market players, and we believe that as a part of UNIStream’s global network, the Cyprus operations will meet our expectations, turning into a nation-wide money transfers system in the future,” Tsaggaris said.
“Our plans are very ambitious here and our potential is great since we are a part of the system operating over 25 000 service points around the globe. The system has achieved leadership positions in the CIS where it has a 25% market share.”
Tsaggaris added that in Cyprus the company will follow the same strategy as the main company.
“We aim at carrying out an aggressive marketing strategy with the focus on intensive development of an efficient money transfers network featuring low tariffs and high quality services,” he said adding that the leadership of the UNIStream Cyprus is confident about the success.
The director general for UNIStream, Souren Hayriyan said that start of operations in Cyprus is an important milestone in the company’s life.
“The Cyprus operations is a great indicator of the success we have reached transforming the system into an international money transfers network. Besides the commercial component of operating in a very busy tourist region with a great amount of foreign workforce, it manifests an international recognition, and opens the gates to develop EU corridors,” Hayriyan said.
UNIStream Cyprus was registered in August 2005. In July, 2006 the system completed the process for qualifying for a license from the Central Bank of Cyprus.
In 2006, the UNIStream system reached a USD 1.85 bln amount of transactions, with over 25,000 service points in 85 countries.
The Financial Mirror