Western Union introduces digital vendor program for mobile mobile banking platforms

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Barcelona (Spain) June 22 (ANI/Business Wire India): The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a global leader in money-transfer services, announced today the launch of its Digital Vendor Program intended to extend the reach and accessibility of Western Union Money Transfer(r) services to mobile finance initiatives in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

"Establishing a strong mobile vendor program is a critical step in the delivery of our 'Western Union Anywhere' service proposition," said Matt Dill, SVP and Head of Western Union Digital Ventures. "By collaborating on a global level with proven mobile platform providers, we believe we can simplify deployments for our mobile partners and introduce a more consistent Western Union experience for consumers."

Western Union entered the mobile finance space in the second quarter of 2008, with an endorsement for a global pilot program by the GSM Association, a global trade association representing more than 750 mobile operators worldwide.

The first providers to join the certification program are four mobile finance platform providers with both active and planned service implementations: South Africa-based Fundamo, India-based mChek, U.S.-based Sybase 365 and Singapore-based Utiba Pte.

Successful mobile money service offerings are typically deployed on a single-country basis and include three service providers working together in a single "mobile finance ecosystem." Participants include mobile network operators, with well-known consumer brands and large mobile subscriber bases; financial institutions, with the legal and regulatory authority to store and hold money; and mobile platform providers (often called m-wallet or m-banking platforms) capable of managing account interaction between the consumer handset, the wireless network and the financial institution. Western Union connects into this ecosystem, providing money transfer capability under a global brand with proven speed and reliability.

"There are a lot of pieces that have to fall into place to deliver on the promise of mobile financial services," said Red Gillen, Senior Analyst Alternative Payments for Celent. "Western Union is taking steps to remove technology barriers and make it easier for its partners to launch a global money transfer service, and that can only be a net positive."

Western Union is certifying mobile platform vendors to reduce integration costs and accelerate go-to-market activities for banks and mobile operators by creating standard technical deployments.

Once a bank or mobile operator contracts with Western Union to activate the Western Union(r) Mobile Money Transfer service, its consumers will be able to send and/or receive money through Western Union's global money transfer system, connected to more than 334,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. (ANI)

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