Western Union Expands Global Real-Time Payments Network

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Western Union’s vast global retail network of over 550,000 agent locations across more than 200 countries and territories has offered in-minutes payout for many decades. And now Western Union customers have the choice of moving funds globally with speed, with the company’s expanded capability to send cross-border, cross-currency money transfers and payments real-time to 50 countries when paid into select banks and digital wallets. The expansion has been fast-tracked since the beginning of this year with the goal of assessing as many as 100 countries for real-time capabilities by the end of 2020. Western Union’s global network now includes more than four billion bank account and wallets.

Western Union’s expansion of digital pay-in and pay-out, a strategic pillar for years, has become an especially critical capability as people around the world continue sending money to their loved ones and making business payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the crisis, Western Union has focused on accelerating the expansion of its digital money transfer capabilities so more consumers and business can make essential cross-border payments and transfers from the safety of their homes.

Last month, Western Union announced the expansion of its digital money transfer services, the fastest-growing part of its business in 2019, to more than 75 countries. The Company’s digital services capture all the top 20 of the world’s primary remittance-sending countries ranked by the World Bank. Similarly, the Company’s global bank account and wallet payout network, along with in-minutes payout capability to select bank accounts and wallets, covers most of the world’s major remittance-receiving countries. Given the critical nature of money movement during the COVID-19 crisis, this end-to-end coverage assures that these reliable, convenient digital services are available to millions of the world’s most active money movers.

“Western Union is continuing to execute on its strategy by investing in and growing our global network to empower businesses and consumers to move money or make payments how they choose, to where they choose, as quickly as possible,” said Western Union President and CEO Hikmet Ersek. “The COVID-19 crisis has strengthened our commitment to be a reliable partner for people and enterprises to move funds globally in real-time.”

Ersek said, “This is a prime example of how the expanding global reach, interconnectedness and speed of Western Union’s global network generates customer benefits that are difficult to match. Our unique platform cuts through international complexities so customers can access their funds in real-time in more and more places. As we expand from our roots in consumer remittances, we’re positioning ourselves as the platform of choice for next-generation payments businesses and financial institutions and their diverse cross-border payments needs.”

Western Union’s consumer-to-consumer money in-minutes cross-border payments capability is now active when sending to select banks or digital wallet providers in 50 countries: Austria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Accelerating Access to Cross-Border Transfers In-Minutes

The advancement of Western Union’s global cross-border, cross-currency money movement platform – including international real-time cross-border transfers, global settlement capabilities, network, compliance and technology systems — is positioning the company as the world’s foremost integrator of money movement and payments, globalizing services for its own customers as well for financial institutions and other payment providers.

In addition to its expansive digital footprint and settlement and compliance infrastructure, Western Union boasts a global retail network with in-minutes payout to more than 550,000 agent locations across more than 200 countries and territories.

Western Union’s recently announced open-platform strategy is allowing the company to innovatively connect the digital and physical worlds of money while helping leading organizations scale their services globally. The company offers banks and other payment providers a portfolio of application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate with its cross-border, cross-current money movement platform with the added benefit of Western Union’s treasury management, reconciliation, and global compliance capabilities.

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