Western Union partners with Visa for faster cross-border payments

Financial services and communications firm Western Union has partnered with payments technology giant Visa to add speed and transparency to the process of sending money across the world.

Under the collaboration, Western Union will deploy Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time push payments platform, in a bid to better serve its customers.

Visa Direct is a service designed to facilitate fund transfers by Visa’s client financial institutions. It enables safe and real-time funds delivery directly to financial accounts using card credentials.

The payments platform will allow businesses, governments and financial institutions to replace methods such as cash, checks or ACH to pay customers, employees, contractors or business partners in real time.

Payment service providers can use the platform for insurance disbursements, tax refunds, contractor payments and loan distributions.

Visa push payments global head Bill Sheley said: “Together Visa Direct and Western Union are collaborating with plans to scale real-time4 cross border payments to businesses and consumers in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 130 currencies.

“This new strategic relationship with Western Union combines the industry-leading capabilities of the world’s largest remittance provider with Visa’s global reach, risk management abilities and operating scale, to bring exceptional value propositions and user experiences to senders and receivers around the globe.”

Visa Direct platform will allow Western Union to provide better remittance service onto cards with transparency and an enhanced user experience for both senders and receivers.

Western Union completed over 800 million transactions for consumer and business clients in 2018, and is focusing on investing in new ways to send money via digital and mobile channels.

Western Union executive vice president Jean Claude Farah said: “Western Union has the largest money transfer retail network and this agreement represents a key milestone for our account payout network combining the best of Visa and Western Union’s cross-border capabilities to enable a world-class payments platform.”

Last month, Visa agreed to acquire Earthport, a company that offers cross-border payment services to the banks, money transfer service providers and businesses via an independent ACH network.