Walmart Canada Taps Western Union For Money Transfers

Walmart Canada has integrated Western Union’s platform into to offer customers money transfers.

In addition, the two companies have extended their relationship, letting customers use Western Union money transfer services in Walmart stores for 5% less than the nationally published consumer fee rate, Walmart said in a Tuesday (Dec. 20) news release.

Jennifer Jones, Walmart Canada’s vice president for financial services and payments, said the collaboration comes as the company is “scaling new partnerships and investing in omni solutions designed to drive financial inclusion and offer more ways to serve our customers.” 

Walmart and Western Union also offer money transfer services in the U.S. and Mexico, the news release noted.

PYMNTS spoke last week with Massimiliano Alvisini, Western Union’s general manager and senior vice president for Europe CIS and Africa, about how the company has reinvented itself, pointing to omnichannel financial services as the next phase in its evolution.

The new WU+ money app, which is live in Germany, Poland and Romania, is designed to combine Western Union’s cross-border capabilities with the convenience of a mobile wallet, allowing for money transfers, payment card management, and transaction activity.

That means that along with making routine payments, the app can send money to the firm’s 600,000-odd locations, plus billions of bank accounts and mobile money wallets.

He also spoke about some of the challenges in the drive toward broader digitization of payments. For example, Alvisini said that despite the introduction of the EU Single Market in Europe, there is more work to be done to patch the fragmented payments market and institute standards to level the playing field across the different European countries.

“That’s what I believe is the next step to creating a level of harmonization that allows the use of new technologies to give people a better experience, keep the financial service industry safe and drive growth and prosperity for millions of people,” he added.

Also this month, PYMNTS noted reports from The Information said that Walmart was planning to introduce buy now, pay later (BNPL) services through ONE, a FinTech the retailer backs.

The installment payment option will join the checking accounts, savings accounts and debit cards already offered by ONE, an independent operation majority owned by Walmart.

Walmart itself offers check cashing and money transfers at its in-store Money Centers. 

The retailer uses Affirm to offer its shoppers a BNPL option, and it’s unclear how a ONE offering would affect that relationship.