Cross-border Payments

Western Union Enables Real-Time Global Transfers Via India’s UPI

Western Union

Cross-border payments firm Western Union is advancing real-time money transfers to customers in India, the company said in a press release on Friday (Oct. 25).

Western Union was the first money transfer company to use Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a solution developed by the National Payments Corporation of India under Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines. The platform lets Western Union customers transfer money to banks in India using UPI ID, instead of providing banking information.

“We are expanding from our roots of creating one of the largest physical money movement networks covering the first and last mile in India to pioneering integration with India’s advanced real-time payments systems,” Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek said during his visit to India.

“These cross-border services will allow millions of Indians living and working abroad to send money back home or to other parts of the world digitally and in real-time,” Ersek added.

Western Union cross-border remittances via UPI will be available for senders in over 200 countries in the last quarter of 2019.

“YES BANK is pleased to collaborate with Western Union on offering remittance services to a larger set of overseas customers. We are also the first bank in India to integrate UPI as an additional mode for facilitating remittances into the country on a commercial basis,” said YES BANK Global Head – Transaction Banking Asit Oberoi.

“This marquee collaboration reinforces our leadership positioning in curating digital solutions, and will help us in further capturing a substantial share in the rapidly growing remittances space,” added Oberoi.

UPI was launched in August 2016 and is used in India by Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay and BHIM.

Earlier this week, Western Union announced the expansion of its cross-border platform into Asia. Recent partners from Asia joining the platform include Japan’s KYODAI Remittance and Korea’s Hanpass. Other global collaborations include Korea’s KEB Hana Bank, Kenya’s Safaricom, Russia’s Sberbank and Saudi’s STC Pay.

Western Union’s network includes over 550,000 retail agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories, with the capability to send money to billions of accounts.



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