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Western Union (WU) Ties Up to Ease Money Transfers in Philippines

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The Western Union Company (WU - Free Report) recently teamed up with PERA HUB, a renowned financial services provider in the Philippines, in a bid to integrate the digital money transfer capabilities of Western Union into the banking platform of UnionBank. The three companies involved share a unique relationship. Union Bank is the digital sub-representative of PERA HUB, which in turn, has been a Western Union’s representative for quite some time.

The partnership marks the first instance wherein a banking app will be utilized across the Philippines by customers for receiving Western Union money transfers. Customers just need to type in the unique money transfer control number (MTCN) of Western Union coupled with other identification particulars into the UnionBank app in order to avail the facility. Consequently, they will be able to receive both local and global Western Union money transfers into their UnionBank accounts.

Western Union, further, plans to expand the services to sending money through the UnionBank app and from UnionBank accounts. The same is expected to commence later this year. Customers will be able to send money locally or globally into not only billions of bank accounts but also millions of mobile wallets and cards across roughly 125 countries. The same money transfers can be facilitated across over half a million representative locations spanning over 200 countries and territories.

The latest move highlights Western Union’s sincere efforts to strengthen its presence across the Philippines. The partnership seems to be a perfect fit for fulfilling the company’s endeavor since Western Union, PERA HUB and UnionBank share a mutual purpose of extending enhanced services and offerings aimed at digitizing money transfers. In this manner, the three companies have been striving to bridge the gap between the digital and physical world.

Philippines seems to be an attractive market for Western Union, given the widespread digital penetration and rising number of internet users across the country. At a time when global remittances came under strain due to the COVID-19 induced volatilities, a report published in Statista stated that the Philippines was among one of those countries, which suffered the least amount of losses in 2020 compared to the 2019 level.

Last year, Western Union teamed up with TrueMoney for efficient money transfer services at TrueMoney locations in the Philippines.  It also partnered with Cebuana Lhuillier, which added over 2,500 locations to the global network of Western Union and enabled hassle-free money transfers for customers in the Philippines.

Western Union has frequently pursued tie-ups with several global financial service providers similar to the latest one. These initiatives have bolstered its digital capabilities, paved way for enhanced management of global payment and strengthened its global network as well as presence. The company’s digital arm, which has been built through massive investments, proved to be of great use for money transfers amid the coronavirus outbreak. Also, remittances have been the preferred mode of sending or receiving money owing to its cost-effectiveness and accelerated speed at which a transaction can be completed without any hassles.

Another company, MoneyGram International, Inc. (MGI - Free Report) with a cross-border money movement platform has been making sincere efforts to strengthen its footprint across the Philippines. It joined forces with PayMaya Philippines last year to launch a digital capability for enabling customers to send money from the United States to the Philippines through Visa Direct — Visa’s (V - Free Report) real-time push-payment solution. PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL - Free Report) also has a strong presence across the Philippines, courtesy of its highly effective digital platform.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Shares of Western Union, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), have gained 3.1% year to date against the industry’s decline of 7.3%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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