Global payment services firm Western Union is expanding its cross-border platform into Asia, the company said in a press release on Wednesday (Oct. 23).
The new partners can now offer users the ability to send and receive funds using bank accounts in more than 100 countries. Users can also transfer funds between wallets in a dozen countries and can use the Western Union network across 200 countries and territories.
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.
“More global brands are turning to Western Union for cross-border money transfer solutions that provide their customers the ability to transfer money quickly and reliably to almost anywhere in the world,” Western Union’s CEO Hikmet Ersek said during his visit to Asia. “The expansion of our open platform initiative into Asia with leading financial institutions is a decisive step toward the execution of our strategy to tap into incremental growth opportunities.”
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.
The expansion of Western Union’s real-time global payments capabilities was initially announced last month. Launch countries include Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Uganda. Ersek said 100 additional countries are being evaluated for the enablement of real-time payment capability by the end of 2020.
“What we realized to make real-time cross-border happen was a problem that could only be solved with the global reach, interconnectedness and speed of our platform,” Ersek said. “I think what we are going to see is a lot of solutions no one was able to think of before, because that critical real-time capability was missing – those solutions are now going to become possible.”