WU: On Track to Launch Digital Bank Pilot by Year’s End

Western Union

The Western Union Company (WU) touted its upcoming Germany and Romania digital banking pilot in its third quarter earnings results, according to a press release.

WU President and CEO Hikmet Ersek said in the release that the digital bank should launch before the year’s end.

The digital banking pilot will offer an integrated digital banking solution with money transfer, a multi-currency account and debit card.

Read more: Western Union Launches WU Shop

Ersek added in the release that WU has also been rolling out WU Shop, a shopping and cash back rewards program, in select countries.

Digital money transfer revenues have been boosted by 15% on a reported basis, with transfers reaching new quarterly highs for transactions and principals, according to the release. Westernunion.com revenue was up 12%, and there was cross-border revenue growth of 16%.

The number of average monthly users was up 8% from the same time last year, and the Western Union mobile app was the most-downloaded app among similar money transfer companies in the third quarter, the release stated, citing data from Sensor Tower, a mobile app marketing firm.

The company also had third quarter revenue of $1.3 billion, a 2% increase on a reported and constant currency basis, with the growth led by digital money transfer, according to the release.

Business Solutions was also a part of the boosts to revenue, but it was somewhat offset by retail money transfer because the economy was still recovering.

Earlier this week, Ersek said the developments of the new digital platforms, including the digital banking pilot, “positions us well to build a consumer ecosystem and drive long-term growth for the company.”

The company’s shopping platform, WU Shop, has launched in Germany and Austria. It is targeted to loyalty members, letting them shop at over 12,000 merchants in over 60 countries. They can send gifts around the world and earn cash back.