Global payments company Western Union announced on Tuesday (June 7) that it is bringing mobile and online money transfers to Cuba through the Western Union app and website.
With over 15 years of working in the Cuba market, Western Union said the move reflects its efforts to bring its global omnichannel strategy to the Cuban diaspora in the United States.
Consumers will see a new “Send to Cuba” option while using wu.com or the mobile app in the U.S., enabling them to send and track money transfers right until the funds are paid out to the recipient in Cuba’s local currency.
Western Union confirmed it has a network of 420 agent locations in Cuba and is represented across every one of Cuba’s 16 provinces and 168 municipalities through its principal agent, Fincimex.
In a press release, Odilon Almeida, Western Union president of the Americas and European Union, explained:
“We expedited activation of our digital money transfer convenience for senders in the Cuban diaspora as we know first-hand the value of remittances to the economic security of families and funding of small businesses. Expanding accessibility and moving money in minutes is what underpins our entire omnichannel strategy.”
According to Western Union, it has now enabled consumers in 29 countries to send money transfers to Cuba, with remittances to Cuba from all countries estimated at $1.2 billion in 2013 and 2014, according to a Feb. 2015 report by Inter-American Dialogue.
While reporting its Q1 results last month, Western Union showed how mobile is driving its business. This starts with one key stat about U.S. online transactions on wu.com, which now are conducted over 55 percent of the time on mobile.
Western Union is seeing growth across its digital offerings, but from the sounds of it, mobile is propping up its online side. Overall, on its digital side, Western Union saw a 25 percent YOY transaction growth.