Western Union (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, has been registered to operate international money-transfer services under Japan's new Act Concerning Settlement of Funds, which allows non-banks to conduct money-transfer services.
Western Union is the first money-transfer provider authorized to offer cash-to-cash transfers across 200 countries and territories under the new law regulated by Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA). It allows Western Union to work with companies across multiple classes of trade in addition to banks to offer Western Union® Money TransferSM services.
"We are delighted to be registered as a money-transfer provider under Japan's robust and progressive new law," said Drina Yue, Managing Director and Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, The Western Union Company.
"As a global leader in money-transfer services, we believe Japan is moving in the right direction in facilitating convenient and regulated money-transfer services for Japanese citizens as well as international workers," Yue said. "Bringing Western Union services as close as possible to consumers, particularly international workers in Japan who have constraints on their time and their ability to travel to traditional financial centers, is a significant advantage."
The growing need for international workers in Japan is expected to lead to an increased demand for money-transfer services. According to the Immigration Bureau of Japan, the number of foreign residents in Japan was 2.2 million as of Dec. 31, 2008.
Upon regulatory approval, Travelex is expected to become Western Union's first Agent under the new law to offer the Western Union Money Transfer service at Travelex stores in Japan.
Western Union also has agreed with Seven Bank to launch international money-transfer services in Japan to its customers via online banking and its nationwide 14,000-strong ATM network, providing a round-the-clock international money-transfer service for consumers to send money from Japan to the world.