Like a bolt of lighting, PayPal’s Xoom jumps out of the starting blocks on Tuesday in Toronto


By Stephen Weir

PayPal fired a bolt over the bow of Jamaica’s GraceKennedy Currency Trading Services (Western Union).  Yesterday PayPal’s money transfer company, Xoom launched a new Canadian service by announcing it had just signed eight-time Olympic Jamaican gold medalist Usain Bolt as its global brand ambassador.
“At Xoom, we’re deeply committed to delivering the fastest possible money transfer experience to our customers, so Mr. Bolt was a natural fit to be our global brand ambassador,” Julian King, Vice President and General Manager of Xoom told the Caribbean Camera at the company’s Canadian launch.
“We look forward to working with Mr. Bolt during an exciting time as we expand our services. He will be appearing in our marketing materials and representing us at selected events,” King continued. “Is he coming to Canada? Nothing that I can announce ….  just yet!”
 On Tuesday PayPal and Xoom hosted a packed late morning press briefing in a conference room at the Bayview Mall in North Toronto. In addition to announcing the hiring of Usain Bolt, PayPal and Xoom laid out to the media what the companies are bringing to Canada.

Xoom’s owner, PayPal, is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers. The young company’s services are an electronic alternative to moving money using traditional paper methods like cheques and money orders
The press were told that Canadian immigrants can now use Xoom to quickly and securely send money, pay bills and reload phones for loved ones living in more than 130 countries globally, including all Caribbean islands except one!  “ No, you can’t use Xoom to transfer money to Cuba. We don’t have any partners on the island, and we are a US based company!”
Using a Smart phone, tablet or desktop computer, Canadians can use Xoom to send money on-line fast and line-up free to friends and family members around the world.  Media at the press conference were shown how a Xoom phone app could take money from Canada to the Caribbean in less than 30-seconds.
Xoom allows users to send up to $12,500 CAD in a single transaction to the Caribbean, and multiple transactions can be made in a single daySenders choose from a number options: deposit money to a bank account, send cash for pick-up or have cash delivered directly to the recipient’s door.
According to PayPal, this is one of the world’s most diverse countries and is home to more than 7.5 million foreign-born people from more than 200 countries. Canadian immigrant families send nearly $24 billion annually to support family and friends back home.

Julian King is a Jamaican American based in California and understands how important money transfers are to the economy of the Caribbean.  He believes that Xoom will be able to gain a foothold in the business of moving P-to-P (person to person) money by offering low service charges, competitive currency exchange rates and guaranteeing all transactions.
Hiring Jamaica’s favourite son makes a bold statement one that Western Union, the world’s leading money transfer company, is sure to hear.  But it will take more than a famous runner to overtake Western Union’s grip on the Caribbean. Back in 2014, the company’s 25th anniversary in Jamaica, Western Union moved the equivalent of more than US$14 billion into Jamaica in collaboration with GraceKennedy Money Services.

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