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MoneyGram at Walmart or CVS Pharmacy? Be smart!


Don’t go to Walmart when you like to collect for a MoneyGram. MoneyGram and Walmart are not a winning combination, and this story will explain why.

  1. Receiving money by MoneyGram in a Walmart Money Center will be a frustrating experience if you don’t know the Middle Name of the sender.
  2. Collecting for a MoneyGram from a CVS Pharmacy is a pleasant experience, as long as you can type. You can forget the sender’s name altogether.
  3. Walmart’s policy differs from MoneyGram’s policies, and the receiver will always have the shorter stick.

Today I was sent a money transfer from a client in Oman. The cash was send using MoneyGram International services. I am in the United States and after receiving the Moneygram transaction number I went to my local Walmart Store in Honolulu, Hawaii. This was a mistake.

I had used MoneyGram before to send money, but I never was on the receiving end. Before heading to Walmart I visited the MoneyGram website to read the following information on how to receive money.


MoneyGram states:

You’ll need the following in order to receive your money transfer:

  • Government-issued identification (ID) that displays your legal name1
  • Reference number – request the reference number from the person who sent you the money transfer

 Please note, your name on the transfer record, completed by the person sending you the transfer, must exactly match your name as it appears on your official ID. 

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Easy enough. I walked to Walmart and after inline in a small room with many people and wearing a good N95 mask I handed to the Walmart representative
1) My driver’s license
2) The reference number for the transfer

The agent started asking a lot more questions
1) She wanted to know the amount of the transfer. I was able to give it to her.
2) The name and location of the sender. I had the first name and I knew the money was coming from Oman.
3) The agent insisted I also must give her the last name. I called my office, and was able to provide the last name of the sender.
4) Now the agent demanded my phone number. I provided my mobile number.
5) Now the Walmart agent said there was a middle name for the sender. She wanted me to tell her the middle name. I didn’t know about a middle name. The agent hinted it would start with Y, but I didn’t want to start guessing.
6) The agent refused to pay out the money due to Walmart policy what apparently differs from MoneyGram policies. I asked how many Juergen Steinmetz there are in Honolulu with my address expecting the exact amount of $270.00 from Oman by a person I had a first and last name for?
7) I asked to speak to a supervisor and the supervisor also insisted on a middle name.
8) I asked to speak to the store manager who again said without a middle name there is no money. He said there are fraud concern handing out money without a middle name of the sender.

I left the store saying I would never ever shop at Walmart again.

On my way home I picked up my medications at CVS Pharmacy Longs Drugs. They also displayed a MoneyGram logo. This time there was a machine from MoneyGram. I typed in the reference number and my name, and how much money I was expecting. It asked me for my drivers license number and instructed me to go to the cashier to receive the cash. The money was handed to me without further question. No First Name ,no Middle Name, no Last Name, no Location. It was an easy, secure and efficient process.

If I ever get money by MoneyGram again, I will stay far away from a crowded Walmart.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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