Western Union connects with WeChat on cross-border payments

Payments services company Western Union has finalised a deal, under which US users of social communication platform WeChat can make global cross-border payments to 200 countries through the company’s WU Connect platform.

Under the deal, WeChat – a social communication platform owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings – becomes the first social app to provide the platform for person-to-person (P2P) cross-border money transfers. There are plans to expand this service over time to more countries.

Western Union’s chief executive (CEO), Hikmet Ersek, said that its omni-channel strategy combines digital presence with the distribution network that covers these 200 countries.

“Given the proliferation of social media around the world, we are expanding our activities in this exciting area,” he added. “It only makes sense to include the WeChat platform as part of the company’s innovative digital money transfer capabilities.”

Ersek said that Western Union’s partnership with WeChat and deploying it to the US offered consumers an alternative way to move money worldwide via the recently-launched WU Connect. The platform embeds Western Union’s transfer capability into third party digital platforms.

At the end of September, WeChat and sister product Weixin in China had more than 650m active user accounts, making it one of the fastest growing social apps.




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