Western Union to Launch Digital Bank Pilot by Year's End
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, today announces the advancement of its consumer ecosystem strategy with the launch of WU Shop, a shopping platform, in Germany and Austria. Additional countries, including the U.S., are planned to go live in the fourth quarter. Additionally, the Company is tracking toward the launch of its digital banking pilot in Germany and Romania by year-end.
Western Union’s position as a trusted financial services provider with a global customer base it increasingly serves in a digital environment, provides it with an exciting opportunity to significantly deepen relationships with customers by offering additional relevant products and services alongside its core money transfer services.
The first component of this ecosystem to launch, WU Shop, initially targets the Company’s millions of MyWU loyalty members, enabling customers to shop directly at over 12,000 local and global merchants in more than 60 countries and send gifts directly to family and friends in other countries. The customer receives exclusive benefits and cash back on their purchases in virtually any currency, and further benefits from minimal shipping costs, alleviating many of the challenges associated with purchasing and sending gifts internationally to loved ones.
"The accelerated adoption of digital and the expansion of our WU.com customer base positions us well to build a consumer ecosystem and drive long-term growth for the Company," said Western Union’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Hikmet Ersek. "We have long been a trusted provider to our customers in meeting their global money movement needs and this ecosystem has the potential to allow us to leverage our global capabilities and local market expertise to increase the value we provide them," he concluded.
The Company also announced it is on track to launch its digital banking pilot in Europe, specifically Germany and Romania, in the fourth quarter. With the pilot, the Company will offer customers an integrated digital banking and money transfer solution, which includes a multi-currency account and debit card, through Western Union International Bank, headquartered in Vienna, Austria. In time, Western Union sees significant potential to leverage its vast network, platform, compliance capabilities and global customer base, to become a significant player in the rapidly expanding global digital banking market.