International

Western Union, Xoom Headed To Cuba

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Western Union announced its plans to launch remittance services from across the world into Cuba on Monday (March 21), closely following the U.S. regulatory and policy changes that now allow Cubans and non-Cubans to move money to the island nation.

The company said it plans to activate services by the end of the second quarter of 2016 using a phased approach, which will allow remittances to be sent into Cuba within minutes using Western Union’s cross-border payments platform.

“It is a privilege to connect Cubans from almost anywhere in the world in a matter of moments to their home community, and it is even more historic to be associated with the anticipated economic multiplier that will come with new injection of remittance flows into Cuba,” Odilon Almeida, Western Union’s president of the Americas and European Union, said in a press release.

“As we have found in other parts of the world, expanding remittances will provide a vital opportunity to improve the standard of living for Cuban people, contribute to savings and eventually investment towards small businesses,” Almeida continued.

In a statement on Sunday (March 20), PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, who is one of the U.S. business leaders joining President Barack Obama on his historic trip to Cuba, also announced PayPal’s upcoming role in helping to expand the economic opportunities within Cuba.

Schulman said PayPal’s global money transfer service, Xoom, will help to address the time-consuming and expensive remittances process currently available in the country.

“Xoom will help make it easier, faster and more affordable for Cubans to gain access to funds. Introducing these money transfer services will not only foster financial inclusion — but they can have a positive impact on the day-to-day quality of life — eliminating long lines and fostering greater choice in this community,” he explained in the post.

“With services like Xoom, PayPal can also offer a whole new world of possibilities to Cuban Americans, who have very little choice today when they want to send money back home to their loved ones. With Xoom and the power of the Internet, Cuban Americans save on high fees, which means more money going back to their families.”

Xoom is expected to be available in Cuba by the end of the year.

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