PayPal has partnered with global money transfer company MoneyGram to allow its 117 million users to deposit and withdraw funds to and from their PayPal digital wallets from any one of MoneyGram's 284,000 physical locations.
The pilot run, which a PayPal blog post says will launch in early 2013, helps the payments giant pare down the number of steps it takes for a customer to go from "cash to commerce," which should ultimately translate into more purchases, whether online or offline.
The partnership also gives the 10 million American households without bank accounts access to e-commerce without requiring traditional banking information, such as a credit card number. A consumer who wants to shop online but doesn't own a credit card or bank account probably uses a pre-paid card. Through this partnership, they'll be able to load cash directly into a PayPal account to use anywhere it's accepted.
It's worth noting that MoneyGram also has a money transfer partnership with Walmart, where customers can make in-store transfers without needing a bank account or credit card. Walmart is also testing Bluebird, a new pre-paid card in partnership with American Express that targets a similar, lower-income demographic.
PayPal's MoneyGram partnership fits in nicely with its big play to become the payments solution of choice not just on the web, but anywhere you can shop. In August, it extended the number of brick-and-mortar retailers who accept PayPal to include all those who accept Discover, also to be in effect beginning in 2013.
[Image: Flickr user epSos.de]