Global payment solution company Western Union has launched WU Connect, a technology platform which integrates with consumer messaging and social media services to transfer money worldwide.
The WU Connect platform embeds into third-party digital platforms to provide a new way to send money to friend and family across the globe.
Consumers can fund the transfer using a banking account, debit card, or credit card, and direct the funds to a Western Union branch, bank account or mobile wallet where available.
David Thompson, executive vice president, global operations and CTO, told EPI: "First and foremost, our business is focused on the needs of our customers. As we speak to our customer and see the trends in our customer base, more and more of our customers are using mobile devices.
"Money remittance is very social in nature. There’s send and receive, I owe you or you owe me. Many of our customers use social media and so presenting a money transfer option in those platforms was a huge opportunity. First of all, that’s where our customers are at."
While partner companies have not been revealed yet, Thompson said that the companies involved would be ‘the large social media platforms where we have very large user bases’.
He continued: "Money transfers are a very good addition to their platforms and it also presents an opportunity for us to service two customers at once; a sender and a receiver. It also allows us to reach a new customer segment."
Thompson concluded: "This has really been built for the unbanked and the underserved by traditional financial services. What we’re really doing is trying to stay in touch with these customers as they access mobile devices and use new digital services.
"We want to grow with our customers and also bring new customers to Western Union, customers that maybe have not used our services in the past. It exposes a new capability to them that they have not been exposed to in the past."