Western Union has launched a “concept store” in Jordan to support that country’s foreign-born workforce.
The store “offers a high-quality, Western Union-branded experience to customers in a high-traffic location, through personalized, reliable and convenient services as they send and receive money,” Western Union said in a news release.
Based in the city of Sahab, the store will serve workers from countries that include Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Egypt and Syria, providing access to Western Union’s 200-plus nation network for blue-collar workers.
“Consumers across the Middle East tell us that they want to be able to choose between in-person and digital channels when sending and receiving money,” said Hatem Sleiman, the company’s regional vice president for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“This underscores the importance of having concept stores available, offering customers another dedicated avenue that enables them to move money reliably and at speed,” he added.
His comments are in keeping with PYMNTS intelligence showing that consumers value payment choice over other features when it comes to their shopping experience.
According to “The 2023 Global Digital Shopping Index: U.S. Edition,” a PYMNTS and Cybersource collaboration, nearly 12% of shoppers ranked payment choice as the “most important” feature, the highest percentage to list choice as their top feature.
Another 48.4% said the ability to choose their preferred payment method was “very or extremely important” (again, the highest percentage for that category).
Western Union sends about $95 billion in remittances per year, part of a larger industry that, according to World Bank estimates, exceeds $626 billion.
The company recently took part in a pilot study by the nonprofit Digital Dollar Project that tested the feasibility of cross-border remittances using central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
“The pilot demonstrated that rather than displacing the service offerings of Western Union and BDO Unibank, CBDCs present an opportunity to modernize processes and promote efficiencies for private sector companies and their customers,” the DDP wrote, underpinned by distributed ledger technology.