Western Union is pushing further into the crypto world, teaming up with a cross-border payments network so its customers can take advantage of mobile wallets.
The network is Thunes, and through it, Western Union customers can send funds directly into a recipient’s mobile wallet. All they need to do is go online or visit one of the many agent locations just as they do to make traditional transfers.
Why Should Anyone Care?
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Western Union has long been known as the place to make wire transfers and pay bills, but advances in the world of fintech have nearly rendered the brick-and-mortar outfit a relic.
Sobia Rahman, the company’s global head of Account Payout Network, responded that the company was continuously making improvements. These include expanding and enhancing its account payout portfolio; providing customers with multiple payout options, and including bank accounts, cards or mobile wallets in its efforts.
Our goal is to make digital money transfer services more accessible, with a specific focus on enabling mobile transactions.
Western Union says the collaboration with Thunes will help it better serve customers who lack access to traditional financial services. They’ll be connected to alternative payment solutions such as the mobile wallets.
Who’s on First?
The collaboration brought some fun comments from observers. Western Union has partnered with Thunes, but Thunes has partnered with Stellar.
Damn it’s a wrap….Western Union partners with Thunes….Thunes is the rebranded arm of TransferTo…TransferTo uses @StellarOrg. Any questions?? #XLM #Stellar https://t.co/Wq3NuM4vDJ
— Samuel Conner (@samconnerone) March 20, 2019
Stellar is a distributed and open-source blockchain platform that connects financial systems. It also facilitates cross-asset transfers. Thunes says that Stellar provides an instant clearing, settlement and execution platform.
About the partnership, Steve Vickers – CEO of Thunes – stated:
Our payments platform seamlessly interconnects payment providers globally and enables interoperability between diverse payment systems. By utilizing our vast networks, Western Union customers will have more flexibility when sending money across borders.
Patience and Timing Are The Strategies
Last year, CCN reported Western Union president Odilon Almeida’s thoughts on the crypto space. Almeida said the company had been evaluating the best ways to use cryptocurrency and blockchain. Though praising of the technology and innovation within the space, he mentioned that volatility, governance, and compliance were three stumbling blocks against its growth.