Timeline of money transfer

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This is a timeline of money transfer, attempting to describe important events in the development of the service.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • ¿Which was the first company to offer the service of money transfer?
  • ¿What is the position of money transfer in chronological context compared to specific services and technologies like credit cards and ATMs?

Big picture

Time period Development summary
Ancient times In Ptolomean Egypt giro-transfer is already developed. Purchases are carried out by using transfer giro orders or cheques.[1][2] The hawala system already exists since the 8th century between Arabic and Muslim traders alongside the Silk Road and beyond as a protection against theft.
1871 < Era of electronic money transfer, starting with the first transaction by Western Union.
1920s Companies such as Western Union and later oil companies start to issue credit cards.[3]
1960s–1970s ATMs emmerge, following a progressive trend of “self-service” and “automation”.[4] Early in the 1970s, Americans have already over 100 million credit cards. Overall the world would accept credit cards without many inhibitions.[3]
2000 < Remittance flows to developing countries more than quadruple since 2000.[5]

Full timeline

Year Event type Details Country/Geographical location
c. 750–945 CE Development The hawala (bill of exchange in Arabic) remittance system develops during the Abbasid Caliphate, centuries before the invention of free–market capitalism. Designed to lower the risks of commerce along the old Silk Road, hawala enables trade by freeing merchants from having to carry large quantities of cash along the way.[6] Middle East
1659 Development The first check is written in England for £400 (around $59,000 today).[7] United Kingdom
1717 Development The Bank of England delivers the first check written on a printed form.[7] United Kingdom
1851 Organization Western Union starts operating as The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company.[8][9][10][11][12] United States
1866 Development Western Union introduces the stock ticker.[11] United States
1871 Development Western Union introduces the concept of wire transfer, a business that would eventually replace message sending as the company’s primary business.[8][11][13][12] United States
1884 Western Union is one of eleven stocks included in the first Dow Jones Average.[14], becoming one of the first companies to be ever listed on the New York Stock Exchange.[12] United States
1918 Federal Reserve Banks begin to move currency via telegraph. Some historians consider this as the birthplace of electric money.
1940 Organization American money transfer company MoneyGram is founded.[15][12] United States
1958 Service Visa credit cards are first issued.[3]
1962 Organization Online money transfer provider Moneycorp is established as Travelers Express Co. Inc.[16][17][18][19] United Kingdom
1966 Service MasterCards are first issued.[3]
1967 The first Automated teller machine (ATM) is invented by John Shepherd-Barron and is installed at Barclays Bank in London.[7] United Kingdom
1969 The first Automated teller machine in the United States is installed at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York.[7] United States
1973 Organization The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is founded as a cooperative society under Belgian law. Today SWIFT is a nonprofit cooperative society that links member banks worldwide through a data processing and transmission network. Its messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organizations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories.[20][21][22][23][12] Belgium
1976 Organization Travelex is established.[12]
1979 Moneycorp begins dealing in foreign exchange.[18][24][25][12]
1980 Organization Xpress Money is established as a money transfer company.[26]
1985 Organization The British Securities and Investments Board Ltd ("SIB") is incorporated. SIB would change its name to Financial Services Authority in 1997. The FSA regulates the financial services industry in the United Kingdom.[27][28][29][12] United Kingdom
1986 Organization Al-Barakat starts as a group in Saudi Arabia by Somali businessmen based there, with the main objective to act as a money transfer service for Somalis in the diaspora sending money back home. Al-Barakat is involved in the modern form of hawala.[30] Saudi Arabia
1987 Organization Ria Money Transfer is founded in New York. Today, it is one of the world's leading money transfer providers, with a local global agent network of approximately 314,000 locations in 144 countries.[12][31][32] United States (serves in 144 countries)
1988 Organization Money transfer service Transfast is established. It provides Automated Clearing House transfer and wire transfer.[33] United States
1990 Statistics The inflow of remittances worldwide is US$64 billion.[34]
1990 Organization Venstar Exchange is established. Headquartered in California, it operates ACH transfer, and wire transfer.[35]
1994 Organization RemitMoney is established. Powered by Axis Bank, Remitmoney is an online money transfer facility which enables NRIs from United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Euro Zone to send money to India.[36]
1996 Organization Placid Express is established as a money transfer provider that specializes in direct money transfers with competitive exchange rates and zero to low transfer fees.[37] United States (it sends money to 8 different countries)
1996 Organization Currencies Direct is established as a money transfer company. It has offices in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, India, China, South Africa, and the United States.[38][39] United Kingdom
1998 Organization Peter Thiel and Max Levchin found PayPal under the name Confinity, with the idealistic vision of borderless currency, free from governmental controls. PayPal would grow rapidly so as to alter the way international money transfers are completed, normalizing the online platform.[40][41][42][12] United States
1998 Acquisition Viad acquires Moneygram Payment Systems.[12]
1998 Organization MoneyGram International is formed.[43] United States
1998 Organization Australian online foreign exchange and payments company OFX is founded as OzForex.[44][45] Australia
1999 Organization Moneydart is founded. It operates ACH transfer. Moneydart is powered by UAE Exchange.[46]
2000 Organization Confinity merges with X.com (founded by Elon Musk) to become PayPal.[47][48][49][50]
2001 Statistics Western Union is the largest regulated money transfer business, with 124,000 agencies worldwide having completed 109 million transfers in the year, amounting to over US$40 billion.[51]
2001 Organization Remit2India is founded. Headquartered in Mumbai, it operates sending money to over 90 banks in India.[52] India
2001 Organization Global Reach Partners Corporate FX & Money Transfer is originally established as 4 separate brand names: Corporate FX, Private FX, Smart FX and Travel FX, which would merge into Global Reach Partners in 2012.[53]
2001 Organization Xoom Corporation is established as a digital money transfer provider. It pay bills and reload mobile phones from the United States to 52 countries, including China, India, Guyana, Pakistan, Mexico and the Philippines. Xoom operates Credit Card/Debit Card and ACH transfer.[54] United States (operates in over 50 countries)
2002 Acquisition eBay buys PayPal. This would open the gateway for online money transfers to be prevalent in many people's everyday lives.[55][56][57][58][12]
2003 Organization Currency Solutions Money Transfer is established. It has offices in the United Kingdom and Cyprus. Currency Solutions is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (UK).[59] United Kingdom
2003 Acquisition Travelers Express gains full ownership of MoneyGram.[12]
2004 Organization WorldFirst Money Transfer is established. It has offices in the United Kingdom, United States, The Netherlands, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.[60] United Kingdom
2004 Organization Tor Currency Exchange Ltd ("TorFX") is established to provide foreign exchange and international payments to companies and individuals. TorFX would expand across the globe, including Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, India, the United States, Spain, Portugal and France.[61][62][63][64][65]
2005 Organization OFX Money Transfer is established. It has global offices in Auckland, Sydney, Toronto, San Francisco, Hong Kong and London.[66]
2005 Organization Halo Financial is established as a currency transfer company.[67]
2005 Organization Xendpay is established as a money transfer platform. It operates Credit Card/Debit Card, ACH transfer, and wire transfer.[68] Operates in 173 countries
2006 Service Western Union discontinues its telegram service.[12]
2007 Service M-Pesa (M for mobile, pesa is Swahili for money), a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service, launches in Kenia.[69]
2008 Organization OrbitRemit is established as an online money transfer company. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, it operates Credit Card/Debit Card and ACH transfer.[70] New Zealand
2008 Statistics Worldwide remittance flows in the year reaches US$328 billion. India, China and Mexico are the top recipients, each receiving US$52, 41 and 26 billion respectively.[71]
2010 Organization WorldRemit is founded in London with the goal of modernizing the money transfer process. WorldRemit users can send money from 50 countries to more than 120 countries around the world.[72] United Kingdom
2010 Organization Remitly is established as a money transfer company.[73] United States
2011 Organization Estonian developed and UK-based peer-to-peer money transfer service TransferWise is established in London.[74][75][76][77][78] United Kingdom
2011 Acquisition Western Union acquires foreign exchange company Travelex.[12]
2012 Organization Azimo is established. Headquartered in London, it operates ACH transfer and wire transfer. Azimo has over 270,000 cash pick-up locations and a presence in 20,000 banks globally.[79] United Kingdom (operates in over 190 countries)
2012 Statistics The inflow of remittances worldwide reaches an estimated US$533 billion in the year.[34] Officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries are an estimated US$401 billion in the same year.[5]
2014 Organization Pangea Money Transfer is established as a money transfer company.[80] Operates in 15 countries across Asia & Latin America including India, China, Mexico and the Philippines
2014 Organization bridge21 is established. It enables businesses and individuals to send money between the United States and Mexico.[81]
2014 Organization Wave is founded by Drew Durbin and Lincoln Quirk, two engineers from Brown University and Harvard University; with the purpose to make sending money to Africa as easy and affordable as sending a text.[82] Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana
2017 Acquisition Alibaba affiliate company Ant Financial acquires MoneyGram.[83][84][85][86][87][12]
2017 MoneyCorp acquires Commonwealth Foreign Exchange, q US-based corporate international payments business.[88][89][90][91]
2017 Organization The OFX Group consolidates services under the global brand OFX from prior and existing brands OzForex, UKForex, USForex, CanadianForex, NZForex, Tranzfers and ClearFX.[12][92]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

Some sources that can be used for initial event lists:

More sources:

Money transfer

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links

References

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