It was only a matter of time but the MoneyGram hammer has come. On Friday while trying to process a $4k transaction at a local Walmart, I got MoneyGram’s generic message of death.
…”Please inform the customer that the system is unable to process the transaction.”
In other words, you’re screwed, see you later Haas.
Walmart’s corporate policy states a limit of $8k per day, and I had been maxing that out virtually every day of the month since they made the change. Fortunately I started diversifying my liquidation away from relying on just money orders several months ago.
I know of people who never do over $3k worth of money order purchases at a time, which would bypass an MSAR (electronic suspicious activity report) being performed, and have still been shutdown. Knowing that, it doesn’t seem like only large transactions are being targeted. The shutdowns actually seem fairly random, and I assume that bill pay through MoneyGram is also not going to be possible. I figured that I was on MoneyGram’s hit list, although a variety of people from low level MSers to whales have been shutdown. Some people think shutdowns might be deposit related. Others say it could be audit related at the store level, but in the end no one has a definite answer.
I’m also not sure how MoneyGram can legally just refuse customers and not others. I’m obviously not an attorney, but there are likely thousands of people using MoneyGram’s service in the same way that I do. If a person liquidates $50k through MoneyGram in a month is that so much different than someone who does $100k or $500k for that matter? If I’m abiding by the rules that MoneyGram and Walmart have set forth, why am I being singled out and refused service?
Forward and Backward
Any money order requiring an ID won’t be possible now, which will more than put a crimp in my style and MS volume. Adding to the crimp, supermarkets in my area are poor liquidation options too. However, I do have a tentative plan to continue to manufactured spend, and have some additional options to still liquidate a reasonable amount of volume. That’s a private plan, sorry. Certainly doing the same type of monthly likely won’t be possible anymore, but when word started circulating that MoneyGram was banning people, I knew I’d likely pretty high up on their list.
I think a lot of people who MS feel insulated from a bank or MoneyGram shutdown. They think that the bad stuff happens to others and not them. Shutdowns can definitely happen to you, and that definitely includes MoneyGram. This is especially since no one knows who or how many will be targeted next and for how long it will continue.
I still consider earning rewards for travel and financial gain a massive benefit that’s tied to living in this country. It’s kind of an obscene, Frankenstein like system, but one that can reap rewards for all involved. I’ve benefited greatly from my involvement in the points scene, and will continue to try and earn outsized rewards while it’s possible. Every point I earn is a blessing, not an entitlement. If it all goes away tomorrow, it’s been a good ride.