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Western Union’s Branded Digital Transactions Gain 13%

Western Union’s latest results showed increased traction in digital channels, and management pointed to omnichannel efforts as a key avenue of promise in the months and years ahead.

The fourth quarter supplementals show that there was 5% growth in consumer money transfer transactions, with 13% growth in branded digital transactions, and branded digital revenue growth was 4%. 

Consumer money transfers at retail locations were up 0.2%.

CEO Devin McGranahan said on the conference call with analysts that “It has been nearly a decade since the company has delivered 5%-plus transaction growth for multiple quarters in a row, excluding the COVID recovery period. We are pleased with this significant change in our trajectory.”

Greater Digital Presence

He said in his remarks that the company’s next-generation digital app is available in 12 countries and there are more than 200,000 customers onboarded to the company’s digital wallet in Europe and over 50,000 in Argentina.

“Our retail money order business, which we have focused on over the last 18 months, has grown substantially over the last couple of years, with principal up nearly 20%,” the CEO said.

CFO Matt Cagwin said that momentum was positive in North America and within the Asia-Pacific region, and Europe helped lead the improvement in retail transaction trends. Consumer services should continue to grow in the low-double-digit range, the CFO said. Omnichannel users generate 2.5 times more transactions than single-channel customers, management said on the conference call.  

McGranahan said on the call that a significant percentage of new digital customers in 2023 were prior retail customers, and have higher average revenue per user (ARPU) than customers acquired as “new to franchise digital customers.” And as he added later in the call, “We are focused on growing revenue from our overall ecosystem strategy.” Digital wallets, he said, will drive increases in revenues with lower customer churn.

The company expects revenue, on an adjusted basis for 2024 to be in the range of $4.1 billion to $4.2 billion. Investors sent the shares down 1% in after-hours trading.