Today, Visa (NYSE:V) announced a new strategic agreement with Western Union (NYSE:WU), a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement.
Western Union will implement Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time push payments platform in an effort to bring speed and transparency to the process of sending money around the world. This collaboration reinforces Visa’s commitment to modernize how payments are made around the world.
Once Western Union’s implementation of Visa Direct is live, Western Union will be able to offer customers an expedited remittance service onto cards with more transparency and an enhanced user experience for both senders and receivers. Western Union and Visa share a vision for modern money movement; this expanded service is intended to make cross border payments more reliable and efficient than ever before.
Nearly $80 trillion (US) of money is sent via a wire transfer or bank account globally today, but the process is harder and more complex than it should be. Money can take days to arrive because of outdated, multi-step, costly methods. 85% of all transactions are still in cash, or other physical currency. The digitization and improvement of these solutions are core to both Visa’s and Western Union’s payment modernization strategies.
“Together Visa Direct and Western Union are collaborating with plans to scale real-time cross border payments to businesses and consumers in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 130 currencies,” said Bill Sheley, global head of push payments, Visa. “This new strategic relationship with Western Union combines the industry-leading capabilities of the world’s largest remittance provider with Visa’s global reach, risk management abilities and operating scale, to bring exceptional value propositions and user experiences to senders and receivers around the globe.”
“Western Union has the largest money transfer retail network and this agreement represents a key milestone for our account payout network combining the best of Visa and Western Union‘s cross-border capabilities to enable a world-class payments platform,” said Jean Claude Farah, executive vice president, Western Union. “This collaboration enables our customers to have a fast, user-friendly and reliable platform to send funds into billions of accounts across the world.”
In 2018 Western Union completed more than 800 million transactions for consumer and business clients. Their commitment to innovation and convenience has led them to develop and invest in new ways to send money through digital and mobile channels.
Visa is focused on improving and modernizing cross border payments. In addition to this new collaboration, last month, Visa announced the acquisition of control of Earthport, a company that provides cross-border payment services. The acquisition of Earthport is an extension of Visa’s overall cross-border strategy that’s complementary to Visa Direct and our existing partnerships.