Transferwise to face WU rival in the UK

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  • Western Union says that Transferwise is not a threat to the company
  • Transferwise is popular in the UK because it provides convenient money transfers at affordable fees
  • Western Union has a digital global revenue of £306m


British fintech Transferwise will be facing fierce competition soon as Western Union is getting its digital bank ready. Transferwise is widely used in the UK because sending money through the app is quite cheap. The brand has raised around $400 million in funding. Competition has been quite rife in the past few years. Apart from Transferwise, Azimo and Starling are also dominating international payments.

While there are other fintechs that are popular in the country, large money transfer services have not yet entered the fintech ecosystem. The international money transfer giant Western Union is reportedly gearing up to compete with fintech startups in the country now that it has determined how lucrative the market is.

Western Union users in the United Kingdom will be able to send up to £50,000 from the website or the app to any bank account around the globe, a welcome development to many migrants who now work in the UK. According to Western Union executives, the service won’t have additional charges on top of its commission from the currency exchange. This is unlike its traditional service, observers say where WU locations charge a transaction fee.

The development was prompted by the growth in Western Union’s digital business according to the company’s executives, because an estimated 70% of its digital money transfer transactions are done through the app. Graham Baker, the firm’s global money transfers head said that the introduction of the digital banking service is a “big opportunity”.

In a recent interview, he said that Transferwise and other fintechs are not really a threat to the company. "People don't realise that we have a huge digital base, as we already have more than $400m (£306m) in digital revenue globally", he added.
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Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO at FXcompared and has numerous years of experience in the international finance world, especially within the media, technology and property sectors. Daniel is passionate… Read more

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