Western Union to Leverage Stellar Blockchain Courtesy of New Partnership


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Popular international payments company Western Union has entered into a partnership with Thunes, a cross-border payments fintech startup, reports Finextra, March 21, 2019. The newly forged alliance allows Western Union customers to transfer funds directly into the recipient’s mobile wallet around the world.

Ensuring Enhanced Financial Inclusion

Enabling seamless cross-border payments is often touted as one of the most important use-cases of blockchain technology.

Against that backdrop, international payments behemoth Western Union will now use Stellar Lumens-based payments network Thunes to push for global financial inclusion.

It is expected that this partnership will enable greater financial access for customers all around the world. People living in remote and geographically cut-off areas of the world will now be able to use alternative methods of payments, such as mobile wallets, to transfer funds immediately.

Sobia Rahman, Global Head of Account Payout Network at Western Union, shared her thoughts regarding the partnership with Thunes. She said:

“We are continuously expanding and enhancing our account payout portfolio, providing customers with multiple payout options including bank accounts, cards or mobile wallets. Our goal is to make digital money transfer services more accessible, with a specific focus on enabling mobile transactions.”

Echoing similar thoughts was Stever Vickers,  Thunes’ CEO. He highlighted how Thunes not only interconnects payment platforms all over the world but also facilitates interoperability between different types of payment systems. Vickers added that Western Union customers would benefit immensely from Thunes’ broad network outreach.

It’s worthy of note that Thunes was formerly named TransferTo and had partnered with open source distributed ledger technology (DLT) project Stellar on July 25, 2018, to enhance the global international payments structure.

Western Union Steadily Entering the Blockchain Space

Most often, it’s the small companies and startups that tread the risky waters of embracing an emerging technology with a relatively short history. However, as of late, a number of giant companies have been making inroads in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space to bolster their existing businesses.

BTCManager reported on February 18, 2018, how Western Union hinted that it might embrace Ripple’s (XRP) blockchain-based cross-border payments solutions to bolster its money transfer services.

The company also announced on December 19, 2018, that it is technologically ready to integrate cryptocurrencies into its existing business infrastructure.

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