Western Union responds positively to coronavirus crisis

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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
  • New service will allow for call-based conversation and electronic transfer
  • Countries on list for the initial launch include Italy and Portugal
  • “It is more critical than ever to enable our customers to send money to family and loved ones or help importers and exporters to pay their suppliers” said a Western Union spokesperson

International money transfer firm Western Union has announced its plans to respond to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The firm, which is well known in the online money transfer industry, revealed that it would be implementing a service called “Digital Location”.

The all-new money transfer channel, which permits customers to make money transfers from their homes during the lockdowns now implemented across the world, was announced to the industry on Thursday.

The service will be initially launched in a number of locations and will permit customers to place a call – either voice-based or video-based – to a worker who can facilitate the money transfer transaction.

Once the transaction has been facilitated, the completion of the transaction will be carried out via an electronic process involving card-funded transactions.

From there, recipients will be able to choose their receipt methods from retail outlets, bank accounts or wallet services.

The countries on the list include Italy, which has been hit by a particularly strong outbreak of the virus.

Also on the list are Portugal, Oman, Australia and Belgium.

According to Hikmet Ersek, who serves as the president and CEO of Western Union, the new arrangement comes as a result of the firm’s “history of innovation”.

“Western Union is committed to drawing on our history of innovation and our agile cross-border, cross-currency platform to serve our customers in whatever ways they require in this unprecedented environment”, he said.

“Due to limited services via retail locations in some areas impacted by restricted movement guidelines, we are seeing increased demand for our online services.

“We are happy to now offer another way for our customers to reach out to their loved ones with care and support”, he added.

He went on to explain the importance of cashflow at the present time.

“It is more critical than ever to enable our customers to send money to family and loved ones or help importers and exporters to pay their suppliers”, he said.

“Money flows are a vital source of income for many of our customers, including our business clients and partners. Amid all the current uncertainty, we are doing everything we can to keep money moving to where it is needed most”, he added.

The coronavirus epidemic has only been on the radar for a few weeks, although firms have begun to respond with product solutions.

Western Union, which is one of the world’s leading financial services providers, is clearly leading the charge – and given its market dominance, it’s not much of a shock to see it doing so.

It will be interesting to see which organisations and companies follow suit in the coming weeks and make an effort to be involved in the rapidly reshaping payments landscape.

To learn more about what’s happening in the online money transfer sector right now, click here.


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