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Western Union's (WU) Digital Investments to Drive Growth

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Western Union Co. (WU - Free Report) , one of the leaders in the money remittance market, is investing heavily in digital money transfer, and leveraging its cross-border platform to serve new customers.

The company has traditionally derived a huge chunk of business from physical money transfer. However, recent massive investments made to grow its digital platform have strengthened its leadership position in digital money transfer. Its electronic platform, westernunion.com, clocked money transfer revenues of more than $340 million in 2016 and is on track to deliver strong growth again this year.

Over the next few years, Western Union plans to expand its westernunion.com transaction sites well beyond the 40 countries it is presently available in. Its emphasis on mobile, as well as increased penetration in existing markets through enhanced services and customer relationship management, account payout offerings and digital partnerships are also part of digital expansion.

One of the major feats achieved by the company this year was its successful navigation of secondary recommendations in the south west border compliance program.

Staying clear of anti-money laundering activities is crucial for money remittance companies and Western Union has made relentless efforts in this regard.

Western Union, which has a wide agent network and dominance in the money transfer industry, has grown over the past many years via several alliances with banks, post offices, retailers, telecom operators and other carriers worldwide.

Western Union’s international business is a feather in its crown, where it faces lesser competition.

Recently, competition has intensified from the ongoing consolidation in the industry. The acquisition of PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL - Free Report) with Xoom and the pending merger of MoneyGram International, Inc. (MGI - Free Report) with Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of the Chinese Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA - Free Report) , is expected to intensify competition further in the space.

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