Western Union has, since 2015 been supporting Apple Pay in its stores by enabling consumers send money and pay bills. The integration is currently available in the US and will be expanded to UK later in 2017. Western Union is investing in technology related partnerships in order to compete with other mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) firms such as Venmo, Square, MoneyGram, and Popmoney.
The integration will allow users of Apple devices to transfer money from their bank account to another securely via the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Money transfers can be made to more than 200 countries across the globe, while bill payments can be made within the US. Investment in technology seems to offer gains to Western Union with transfers via its own mobile app increasing. Since more than half of all money transfer transactions are happening via the mobile devices, Western Union hopes that the Apple Pay integration will further enhance the security for users.
Earlier in February 2016, Western Union has partnered with the mobile messaging app Viber, enabling Viber users to make money transfers to their contacts without having the need to leave the app. The feature was available for users in US and UK and gave Western Union the access to 745 million Viber users. In June 2016, Western Union announced partnership with mobile wallet bill presentment and payments services firm Walletron. As part of the partnership agreement, Western Union’s Speedpay electronic bill payment service offered its clients the choice of incorporating Walletron’s moBills platform. This partnership will allow users to make bill payments and receive personal notifications via their mobile devices. Around 27% of international money transfers are performed using peer-to-peer mobile app.
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