Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) remain major regional markets

Regional News By Argaam Jan 10, 2022

Arab website Argaam writes about how Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the two largest markets in the region for Western Union, with the whole MEASA region accounting for nearly 15% of the company’s global remittance.

The website further notes that last year, Western Union acquired a minority stake of 15% in stc pay, the digital payment unit of telecom provider stc, for $200 million (SAR 750 million).

Argaam then quotes Hatem Sleiman, Regional Vice President – Middle East, Pakistan & Afghanistan, who says: “We have a commercial agreement with stc pay, which is separate from the acquisition agreement. We want to ensure it’s a long-term partnership on the commercial front and enhance digital banking in the future.”

However, challenges in Saudi Arabia remain for WU and others in the sector.

“Cash still remains dominant and more than 80% of the transactions are still done in cash, but [the] acceleration of digital will definitely continue for the next four to five years,” they quote Sleiman as saying about Saudi Arabia.