Western Union expands mobile wallet capabilities


Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely… Read more
  • Remittance giant Western Union just teamed up with a mobile wallets expert and it is set to change the way remittances are sent
  • WU told reporters that the company will continue ‘expanding and enhancing’ its payouts portfolio
  • Thune is a payments specialist that focuses on emerging markets


The world’s leading money transfer brand Western Union signed a partnership agreement with cross-border payments network Thunes. The Mobile payments expert focuses on emerging markets, according to reports. Executives at Western Union said this week that their new partner will help their customer transfer funds right into their mobile wallets. This will also allow them to transfer money internationally at cheap overseas transfer rates, with said funds being sent directly to the mobile wallets of recipients.

Insiders say that WU customers can now use the brand’s growing digital network. Agent locations are the usual sending points for senders but the availability of new payout methods will likely have many WU users move to digital transfers. Observers say that the partnership with Thunes will also increase Western Union’s market.

“We are continuously expanding and enhancing our account payout portfolio, providing customers with multiple payout options including bank accounts, cards or mobile wallets,” said Sobia Rahman, the Global Head of Account Payout Network for Western Union during an interview with Business Wire. “Our goal is to make digital money transfer services more accessible, with a specific focus on enabling mobile transactions,” Rahman added.

The new development will give financial access to the unbanked. Connecting customers to alternative payment solutions will improve financial inclusion the world over, experts say.

Thune is said to be very excited about the collaboration. In an interview with Steve Vickers, the chief executive officer at Thunes, he said that the company is “delighted to be working with Western Union to provide global reach for their customers.”

Thune’s payments platform interconnects payment providers seamlessly and at a global scale. According to Vickers, it also allows “interoperability between diverse payment systems”. Utilising the vast network of the company will make it possible for WU customers to have more flexibility.


In 2018, Western Union already had over 550,000 agent locations. Its website is now the fastest growing digital transfer platform. Thunes on the other hand is relatively unheard of in the industry unless they reveal that they used to be the cross-border payments processor TransferTo. The brand, before it changed its name to Thunes, has always had its heart set in helping emerging markets get better financial services. According to Thunes, it wants to make said services accessible to everyone so that more people can have access to the global economy. Transferring funds internationally is still expensive despite the many service providers around the world. It is noted by experts that challenger banks do not have as wide a reach as traditional banks just yet.

Thune’s network comprise of money transfer operators, mobile wallet companies, merchants, corporations, and banks, all of which facilitate real time transfers to emerging economies.


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