Western Union Expands its Digital Footprint to Fight Startups

Western Union, a leader in global money transfers and payment services, announced the launch of new transactional websites in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta and Slovakia. With these new additions, the company provides online transactional services in 29 countries, enabling consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money to over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Western Union has been criticized in recent years for its over-reliance on the agent model. In response, the firm has aggressively adopted a multichannel approach. In the last couple of years, the conventional remittance service provider has invested heavily in technology to build up a robust multichannel system. Around 6% of Western Union’s total revenue is contributed by its digital business which includes and mobile money transfers.

Leveraging a strong omnichannel strategy, Western Union continues to grow its online transactional network worldwide, said Khalid Fellahi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Western Union, in the press release. We have an extensive funds-in and funds-out network that connects over half a million diverse retail agent locations, ATMs and kiosks, our own and third-party digital sites, and mobile wallets. Our cross-border platform provides the technology, foreign exchange conversion and settlement, regulatory and compliance infrastructure, and data management that brings this network together, allowing for efficient and timely money movement for multiple use cases almost anywhere in the world.

Consumers across Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta and Slovakia can now send money by simply visiting the company's website or the country’s agent location making the process easier and faster.

The innovation by Western Union has created a strong cross-border capability for transferring money anywhere in the world. The company is one of its kinds, in the sense that it combines a physical and fast-growing digital network across 200 countries and territories and the ability to exchange money in 120 currencies.

Money can be sent to Western Union’s network of more than 500,000 agent locations by consumers and the recipient can opt to direct the cash into a bank account at select Western Union account-based money transfer (ABMT) relationships or into a mobile wallet with select Western Union mobile money providers. Further, users can also use the extensive Western Union retail agent network for transferring money. The company has leveraged its strong network in multiple countries to achieve success in the remittance space.