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Western Union (WU) Expands in South Korea Via NH I&S Services

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Western Union Co. (WU - Free Report) has integrated its services into the service portfolio offered by NH Investment & Securities (NH I&S), one of the largest investment and securities companies in South Korea.

Via this integration, NH I&S account holders will be able to send and receive money using Western  Union's mobile app. They can simply walk into more than 85 NH Investment & Securities branches and proceed to process their money transfers. While senders can use money from their securities account to make money transfers, receivers can directly receive funds in their securities account.

Customers can conveniently use their NH Investment & Securities account to send money via a mobile app.

Prior to this in 2020, Western Union expanded its partnership with NH Bank by appointing NongHyup (Agricultural Co-operative) as a sub-agent. This enabled an easy access to the company’s cross-border payment service at select NongHyup locations, which allows customers in South Korea to send money to more than 200 countries and territories.

Through this extended cooperation, Western Union will further widen its service suite to offer cross-border remittances in more number of locations across the country.

The remittance industry in South Korea has grown significantly since the deregulation of remittance service back in 2008. The country is one of the most technologically advanced hubs in the world and people prefer not to carry cash and instead, pay via the digital means. However, the cost of transferring money to other countries remains high as the general dependence is still on bank wire transfers, which can be both expensive and time-consuming.  

In view of such hassles, remittance companies like Western Union get ample opportunities to grow and prosper. Another company MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI - Free Report) also consolidated its services with the South Korean money transfer service, Global Money Express, last year. Notably, it was MoneyGram’s third South Korean fintech collaboration in 2020.

The recent strategic move indicates Western Union’s bent on forging alliances with players in sectors, such as financial, telecom and tech.

Western Union already collaborated with several financial institutions worldwide to manage international payments better. Recently, it inked a deal with the leading worldwide retailer Walmart Inc. (WMT - Free Report) to provide its money transfer service via the retailers’ stores. Previously, the company had stretched its 35-year relationship with Kroger in October 2020 in a bid to benefit the latter’s customers with expanded domestic and international payment services.

Western Union carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), presently. The stock has declined 3.1% in the past six months against its  industry’s growth of 3%.

Another company in the same space is Square, Inc. (SQ - Free Report) , which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), currently. Its bottom line surpassed estimates in the last reported quarter by 142.8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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