Connecting customers in more than 200 countries and territories
By Odilon Almeida, President of Western Union Global Money Transfer
Western Union’s innovation over time has built a powerful cross-border platform for moving money almost anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes. While we are immensely proud of a 166-year legacy, the digital space is relatively new. Having previously been dismissed as a laggard, who would have thought that today, Western Union would be a leader in the digital money transfer sector with over $340 million revenue in 2016, presence today in 40 countries with 18 in-country apps, six of these offering omni-channel choice to pay with account, card or cash?
The activation of our 40th wu.com transactional website in recent weeks means that we now provide full digital access for cross-border person-to-person (P2P) money transfer services across the U.S., Canada and Europe as well as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. These 40 sites connect customers across more than 200 countries and territories.
Our next phase of digital expansion is across Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America and the Caribbean. Overall, our digital expansion will complement our retail Agent footprint in more than 200 countries and territories.
The continuous advancement of our digital innovation has, over the past several years, allowed us to stay ahead of the needs of the modern money mover and, right now, we are serving them across a multitude of currencies, languages and borders.
At Western Union, we have applied a relentless focus to understanding the current and next customer, and customer-driven innovation has been key to Western Union’s digital strategy success. Today, our consumers want different options to send and receive money around the globe, and our ability to bridge their digital and physical worlds – whether it is bank-to-bank, through web, app to cash or cash to cash – is our key differentiator.
Western Union’s digital expansion provides further choice not only to consumers who may have migrated and are working and living in their host countries, but also to a new generation of consumers who live in their home countries and need to move money in an increasingly globalized world. These consumers send money for a variety of reasons, such as their child’s international college tuition, to scale up their small business, to fund travel and tourism, to buy goods and services, or for gifting purposes.
According to the World Bank, while more than 75 percent of cross-border P2P transfers are sent into developing countries by individuals who have migrated for a host of reasons, people send money from nearly every country in the world.
This digital ramp-up follows the recent launches of Apple Pay as a funding method for our digital users in the U.S., and our money transfer bot for Messenger, which enables users in the U.S. to make international money transfers without leaving the Messenger app.
In expanding our digital footprint on a global scale, we are better able to interact with our customers where they are and when they need us, positioning us well to meet the increasing demands from both our current and future customers.