The remittance, which refers to the sending and receiving of money across borders, is a major contributor to the world economy. According to statistics from the Work Bank, approximately $700 billion is moved across borders every year.
These figures are projected to increase even more considering the high demand of people using online money transfer services. Most of the money goes to low and middle-income countries – accounting for their largest source of foreign funding.
As globalization continues to expand, more and more immigrants are getting job opportunities in the industrialized nations. Most of them prefer working overseas because of the lower wages offered in their home countries. As long as these movements will continue, it means that remittance will also keep growing.
Long and winding payment processes
Before the introduction of the internet, moving money across borders was much more difficult. It was an expensive and time-consuming process that took a long time before the recipient could receive money from the sender.
Any international transfer requires money be sent to a local bank first before the money could be channeled to the recipient. This needed more than one intermediary, especially if the person receiving money didn’t have a bank account. And then the world began to shift toward new, faster money transfer options.
Technology transformed the money transfer industry and companies such as Western Union that once relied on a brick-and-mortar model have quickly adapted to the new digital transfer methods. The pandemic accelerated the situation when most countries discouraged the use of hard cash to transact and people relied more on digital connections for remittance and every other aspect of life.
This means that contactless payments were the order of the day. Raj Agrawal, the Chief Financial Officer at Western Union says that the company has experienced a huge demand for digital transfers since the COVID-19 pandemic set in.
“A few months after the pandemic was declared, we saw the number of digital remittances increase significantly. This is attributed to measures taken by various governments around the world to encourage contactless transactions” said Agrawal.
Western Union is among the oldest money transfer companies in the world, having been in the industry for close to two centuries. But due to technological improvements and the emergence of other players, the company was forced to adapt to the new changes.
According to Mr. Raj Agrawal, Western Union has heavily invested in new technology in a bid to become a global leader in digital remittance. For the past three years, the company has witnessed a significant rise in revenue from digital money transfers.
Western Union’s Money transfer service journey
From 1861, Western Union has dedicated itself to connecting the world through money transfer services. As a pioneer in the industry, the company has enabled both businesses and individuals to send and receive money across the globe.
Western Union currently serves over 200 million customers and is present in more than 200 countries. It has a portfolio of 130 currencies. Among the countries that lead in a digital remittance network include the United States, France, UK, Australia, and Germany.
The company is committed to providing its customers with high-quality money transfer services by investing in the latest technologies. This means improving customer experience such as better web page performance, faster registration, greater visibility into the status of transactions among others.
It is because of these efforts that Western Union has increased its digital revenue by more than 30 percent. When it comes to the number of money transfer apps being downloaded, Western Union is ahead of other providers by over 78 percent.
The future is digital
Technology has transformed the universe into a small global village. This is not only through communication and interaction but also through money transfer services. It doesn’t matter where you are located in the world, you can send money to anyone in any part of the world and be sure that they will receive it the same day.