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Western Union introduces foreign-exchange mobile payments to consumers

March 4, 2011

Western Union has rolled out a foreign-exchange payment service that lets small and medium-sized business clients make payments via their smartphones.

The payment service is available in countries where Western Union currently offers online payment and FX services through its Business Solutions division. Several countries include the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, France and Australia.

“The service helps facilitate international payments for small businesses,” said Brian Harris, vice president of marketing and product management at Western Union Business Solutions, Victoria, BC.

“Mobile for us is important – there’s not a lot of businesses in the world that don’t have mobile connectivity,” he said.

Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders.

Mobile service
The new payment service lets businesses offer an interface for customers making international business payments.

The service offers more than 140 currencies to choose from and lets users make payments and lock in a currency-exchange rate and fee before transferring funds.

“For our existing customers, this service is a part of their application today,” Mr. Harris said. “It’s really just an ongoing marketing effort for us.

Consumers can log-in to their account

Consumers can create a transaction

Consumers can send a payment

How it works
The service is open to existing Western Union customers.

Consumers who have an account with the company have access to the mobile application.

Customers can book a transaction and send it to a recipient.

“The key thing is how to integrate mobile and Internet into existing processes,” Mr. Harris said. “You’re not always tied to your desktop.

“We create a world where you don’t have to go to a bank,” he said. “It’s a further expansion of the transaction.”

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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