Mike Hafer discusses Western Union’s approach to customer-first service

Top Trends By Sarah Johnson Feb 26, 2019

Western Union has undergone a tremendous transformation in the past 167 years. Grounded in moving money from place to place, the company has made tremendous investments to keep up with today’s always-on, connected customer and establish an infrastructure that, in 2018, handled 34 cross-border, cross-currency money transfers each second, 365 days of the year. However, sustaining this momentum in light of rapidly changing consumer demands is a tall task.

In a recent podcast, Measured Thoughts with The Wharton School’s Dave Reibstein*, Western Union’s Mike Hafer, SVP of Marketing and Field Execution, sat down with the hosts to discuss key factors the company takes into consideration when developing marketing strategies to connect with global consumers. With the transformation of technology, particularly the mobile phone, Hafer explained that this shift has resulted in a massive growth in the company’s digital business, emphasizing the need for Western Union to create an omnichannel offering that services multiple touchpoints.

Case in point, Western Union customers are not limited to the company’s 550,000+ Agent locations; they can enact digital person-to-person transfers through the Western Union mobile app and WU.com site. “Nearly 75% of our digital transactions originate from a mobile device globally, and when you look at the growth of the business…it’s because consumers are changing the way that they move money.”

This unique, best-in-class omnichannel offering – the expansive retail location network and digital capabilities – allows the consumer network to easily access Western Union when they need it, wherever they need it. For Mike, the future of Western Union lies in continuing to explore the capabilities of mobile technology and, as such, one of his biggest motivators is the “mobile first, digital first” mindset that he leads the company’s marketing tactics with. Whether it’s investing heavier in paid search and digital ads or partnering with popular NBA team, Denver Nuggets, it’s clear that Western Union has made it a strategic priority to connect with today’s digital consumer leveraging the marketing channels they consume today in order to continue educating the market around the company’s transformation and constantly improving mobile capabilities.

*Originally aired on SiriusXM Channel 132, Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School