Global Payments

Western Union Expands Banco Monex Alliance, Volopa Unveils Contactless Multi-Currency Cards

Welcome to The Axis, your look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes the expansion of the alliance between Western Union Business Solutions and Mexico’s Banco Monex. In addition, U.K.-based Volopa has unveiled contactless multi-currency prepaid cards and India-based Obopay purchased mobile app company Mubble.

Western Union Business Solutions and Mexico’s Banco Monex are teaming up to expand their alliance globally, the companies said in an announcement. Through the tie-up, Banco Monex’s customers will have “enhanced payment distribution options.” Clients will be able to use the global payment infrastructure of Western Union Business Solutions to send payments in 130 different currencies and receive payments in 40 currencies.

“Banco Monex has already distinguished itself as the Mexican leader in cross-border payments by being at the forefront of payment technology adoption,” Alfred Nader, vice president of Western Union Business Solutions for the Latin America and Caribbean region, said in the announcement. “This next step simply cements their position in the Mexican marketplace.”

In the U.K., London-based Volopa has unveiled contactless multi-currency prepaid cards geared toward businesses and consumers, according to reports. The cards, which allow customers to use up to 14 different currencies, can ascertain the local currency as customers use the cards at ATMs and merchants.

The card can make payments in the local currency without the “additional conversion or foreign transaction charges typically associated with using debit or credit cards abroad,” according to the company. In addition, web-based and mobile apps come with the card to allow users to monitor their spending and manage the cards.

And, in India, Obopay purchased mobile app company Mubble to bolster its mobile app and data analytics abilities, VCCircle reported. With the deal, Mubble co-founder and CEO Ashwin Ramaswamy will reportedly come to Obopay. Mubble, which was founded in 2013, offered a usage-tracking app for consumers that used prepaid phones.

Obopay’s CEO Shailendra Naidu told TechCircle, “The strategic acquisition of Mubble is a significant step in strengthening Obopay’s service offerings in Indian and international markets. [Mubble’s] recommendation algorithms and data analytics capabilities will significantly boost our services in all the markets where we operate.”



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.