Mobile is playing an increasing role for all remittance companies, but just how much isn't usually revealed until earnings reports are released.
And when Western Union reported its Q1 results yesterday (May 3) it 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.
"The online business is also gaining good traction on sends to accounts through our expanding account payout network. The spread between transaction revenue growth for wu.com in the quarter was primarily due to lower principal per transaction and other mix. This was driven by the high growth in mobile transactions, which tend to have a smaller principal amount," said Rajesh Agrawal, Western Union's CFO.
To continuing growing its mobile side, CEO Hikmet Ersek spoke about the potential with its latest parter in the marketplace, Viper.
"It's too early to tell that, but I believe that the digital ... will begin growth on the C2C, and digital connection to 200 countries. Digital connection to retail locations, digital connection to our account payout network, which we are more than 1 billion accounts. That will come – growth that will accelerate over the few quarters, I believe," he said during the company's earnings call with analysts.
On its digital side this quarter, Western Union launched a mobile app for westernunion.com in Italy, allowing Android and Apple users to access money transfer services. It also refreshed its mobile app in the U.K., a new mobile remittance receiving service in Bangladesh and launched two new westernunion.com transaction sites in Europe. This brings Western Union to 36 countries globally with online money transfer sending services.
Consumer-to-consumer revenues increased 1 percent, and C2C transactions increase 3 percent in the quarter. Online C2C revenue increased 15 percent (a 25 percent transaction growth), and wu.com accounted for 7 percent of C2C quarterly revenue. The company posted a revenue of $1.3 billion, and saw an overall YOY revenue increase of 3 percent.