As part of its continuing commitment to create innovative solutions that address unmet needs in the marketplace, Western Union today announced two significant milestones in its Stored-Value division.
The first is the launch of the Western Union® Global Share platform, which enables the company to introduce new stored-value solutions in markets around the world by joining forces with local companies.
The platform allows local companies to enhance their overall value proposition by leveraging many of Western Union's strengths in the marketplace, including the largest network of its kind in the world, its globally recognized brand and its expertise in moving money across borders.
The Global Share platform model enables both Western Union and its clients to develop enhanced value propositions in the marketplace by leveraging each other's complementary assets.
At the Innovation Project at Harvard University today, Western Union also announced that it has already signed agreements with six companies for solutions that meet a variety of needs around the globe.
"The launch of the Western Union Global Share platform and the addition of six companies are proof that Western Union is a relevant, wide-reaching and powerful brand - one with the trust of millions of customers," said Diane Scott, Executive Vice President, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Western Union. "We are truly a partner of choice for companies around the world."
The six companies are:
Access Prepaid Worldwide (global): Western Union and Access Prepaid, a fully-owned subsidiary of MasterCard, are working together to introduce Western Union-branded multicurrency travel cards in multiple countries around the world. With these accounts, travelers can load funds at select Western Union Agent locations worldwide and manage their money in multiple currencies, delivering both convenience and savings. This agreement is part of Western Union's global partnership with MasterCard to make electronic payments and financial services more efficient and accessible for consumers.
Advent Financial (U.S.): The companies are now offering government tax disbursements on prepaid cards at more than 5,000 locations in 45 states. The solution offers quicker and more convenient access to refunds than a paper check, and delivers additional features such as cash reload services at Western Union Agent locations and access to Western Union Money Transfer® transactions, resulting in stronger, longer-lasting customer relationships.
AirPak (Central America): Western Union and its master Agent in Central America have introduced co-branded reloadable remittance card accounts that allow receivers of Western Union Money Transfer transactions in Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador to direct part or all of those funds onto a reloadable prepaid card.
Credencial (Chile): Western Union and Credencial, a leading Latin American stored-value processing company based in Buenos Aires, are building a stored-value wallet tied to a prepaid card that will allow users to send and receive money domestically within Chile.
Jade Payments (UAE): The two companies are planning to launch the "WU WALLET," a multi-purpose, multi-currency card account for daily use in the UAE and as a multi-currency card when traveling abroad. Accountholders will be able to use the card in multiple currencies, withdraw cash at ATMs, send money from the card with Western Union and add funds to the card at select Western Union Agent locations in the UAE.
mFunds (U.S.): The two companies are working together on solutions addressing multiple verticals where customers have unmet needs. The first is an open-loop prepaid card for Chinese travelers coming to the U.S. that brings convenience and shopping discounts.
In addition, the company today announced the launch of its Reload+ network, which allows customers with multiple types of accounts, including prepaid cards, mobile services and other e-commerce-based accounts, to "top up" or add cash to their accounts at participating Western Union Agent locations worldwide. Additionally, Reload+ services offer cash access at participating Western Union Agent locations where ATMs are not prevalent.
"Today's announcements are extraordinarily significant for Western Union," said Mike Hafer, Senior Vice President, Global Stored Value, Western Union. "They are clear evidence of our company's transformation to offer customers solutions that meet varying and diverse needs in the marketplace. They are also proof that many of our key assets, including our global Agent network of more than half a million locations, are highly desirable and complementary in local markets around the world."