Massimiliano Alvisini: We have always stood at the forefront of innovation – and that enables us to meet any challenge

People By Massimiliano Alvisini September 29, 2021

“The payments industry as a whole, and Western Union in particular, have always stood at the forefront of innovation – and with our track record, we can meet any challenge,” said Massimiliano Alvisini, SVP and General Manager for Europe, CIS and Africa, during the panel “What would cross-border trade with zero intermediation look like?” taking place as part of Money20/20 Europe, the continent’s premier payments and fintech event, held in Amsterdam.

Massimiliano emphasized that just in the space of a few years, Western Union, through continuous investment in building a leading omnichannel platform for cross-border, cross-currency money transfers and payments, went from being known for its iconic retail network to offering the broadest digital global network coverage within the cross-border person-to-person payment sector.

“We don’t just move money, and we don’t see ourselves as just intermediaries: we move information across one of the biggest financial networks globally, driven by our purpose, to enable individuals and business to make their payments globally, serving the digitally enabled but also taking proactive steps to include offline communities innovatively,” stressed Massimiliano.

Asked about new technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrency, Massimiliano said Western Unios is always looking very carefully at every new technology that could help the company serve its customers better. Stressing the challenges that these technologies pose when it comes to their volatility and treatment by regulators, Massimiliano said that at this point he didn’t see how blockchain/crypto could provide better prices, more transparency and save up time for Western Union’s customers.

Massimiliano went on to explain the fundamentals and the challenges of cross-border money transfers and payments, stressing the importance of compliance, as the basis for building a relationship of trust with customers. “Building this infrastructure, from your platform to the compliance programs, building a relationship of trust with customers, and serving virtually almost the entire world, has a daunting element of challenge and complexity – and it is almost impossible to match at a truly global scale and reach”, stressed Massimiliano.

Money20/20 is Europe’s biggest fintech and payments event. This year, over 4,000 people, (With 1 in 4 Exec Team or Board level), from 1,500+ companies took part.