Western Union set to expand its real-time payments to India

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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
  • WU to work with YES Bank to create a cross border payments service
  • It will use UPI, the new framework developed by the Reserve Bank of India and its partners
  • “These cross-border services will allow millions of Indians living and working abroad to send money back home or to other parts of the world digitally and in real-time”, says WU spokesperson

International global payments icon Western Union has announced that it will be launching a new real-time cross border payments service in India.

This comes after the Reserve Bank of India altered its guidelines to permit the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to operate in the country.

Under this scheme, those who want to send and accept cash which flows through India will no longer have to provide routing details or bank information.

Instead, they will just need the so-called UPI ID.

This represents a big step forward for international money transfer.

It will work alongside a bank called YES Bank in order to deliver the changes.

“We are expanding from our roots of creating one of the largest physical money movement networks covering the first and last mile in India to pioneering integration with India’s advanced real-time payments systems”, said Hikmet Ersek, the CEO of Western Union.

“These cross-border services will allow millions of Indians living and working abroad to send money back home or to other parts of the world digitally and in real-time”, he added.

For YES Bank, Asit Oberoi – who is the global head for transaction banking – said the firm was “pleased” with the collaboration.

“YES BANK is pleased to collaborate with Western Union on offering remittance services to a larger set of overseas customers. We are also the first bank in India to integrate UPI as an additional mode for facilitating remittances into the country on a commercial basis”, he said.

The UPI was a significant change that came about as a result of the National Payments Corporation of India responding to the changes from the Reserve Bank.

It was first launched in summer 2016.

It is believed that now over 900 million transactions are processed using UPI every month.

For market watchers who know how important online money transfer is in a populous and thriving economy like India’s, it’s no surprise to see that Western Union is getting involved – especially in a climate where cross border payments are now easier than ever.

What is more of a surprise is that it took so long for Western Union to get on the bandwagon, as the changes from the country’s central bank have been in place since 2016.

Perhaps it struggled to find a suitable partner, or maybe it wanted to see just how sustainable UPI was before committing.

Either way, it’s now here in earnest – and is likely to stay. Learn more about the latest news from the online money transfer sector here.


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