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World’s leading money transfer company Western Union Co. ([url=http://www.zacks.com/stock/quote/wu]WU[/url]) has recently announced the debut of its international business payments service, Western Union Business Solutions, for small and medium-sized enterprises in the UAE through a five-year agreement with Emirates International Exchange. This agreement with a leading exchange house in the Middle East that deals primarily in money transfers and money exchange, marks WU’s foray into a new customer segment in the Middle East.
The agreement would help Western Union provide cross-border business payments and foreign-exchange solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Western Union foresees a huge business potential in the SME market, which is almost the same size as the consumer cross-border remittance market generating revenues of about $24 billion.
Though Western Union already has a presence in the Middle East market, the SME business would be a completely new experience for the company. Also, the new venture would enhance the company’s growth given the strong growth potential of SMEs, coupled with a lack of payment service providers in the region.
Englewood, Colorado-based Western Union in its first quarter conference call stated that it would use innovation to better serve its customers. One such innovation is its recent introduction of a new foreign exchange payment service that allows small and medium enterprise business clients to make payments through their smartphones. Moreover, business-to-business cross-border payments remains one of the company’s priority growth areas as the market is large and fragmented, the SME customers are underserved, and the company believes it can leverage its brand and cross-border expertise and global relationships to gain share.
Last week, Western Union announced that it would launch a Western Union Money Transfer Receive Card, which would set in a hassle-free way to receive money transfers from across the globe. The cards will be available at select Western Union Agent locations this summer, and can be picked up without having to fill out forms. After receiving the card, the customers will have to complete a transaction to receive a money transfer online or over the phone.
Western Union has emerged as a world leader in payment services by actively expanding in new areas and products. It competes with Dallas, Texas-based Moneygram International Inc. ( ( MGI - Analyst Report ) ).
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