Its name has been synonymous with money transfers since the 19th century. Offering Americans revolutionary wire transferring technology beginning in the 1870s, Western Union quickly became one of the lynchpins of American banking. And when they expanded their offerings to other countries, they became the single most relied upon method of money transfer for the majority of the world’s population.
However, as digital transfers became popular, and a host of new service providers entered the market, Western Union found themselves losing market share to their new digital rivals. Consumers grew wary of long wait periods for their money. When a variety of options, such as Paypal, offered faster service in addition to all-digital platforms, they created accounts en mass.
Western Union took notice and recently partnered with PSI-Pay to offer new digital services along with their traditional wire transfers. The result has been a transformation of the company into the modern digital age. PSI-Pay technology will allow consumers to use local banks around the world for money transfers.
— PSI-Pay (@PSIPayLtd) August 24, 2015
The new services are based around PSI-Pay’s ecoPayz architecture, allowing customers to send, receive, and make purchases online. They also offer prepaid debit cards, which allow customers to withdraw money without the need for traditional checking or savings accounts. They simply walk to the nearest ATM and make their withdrawal.
The implications of this new partnership are enormous. Given Western Union’s operational structure and global presence, it is easy to see this operation becoming the global standard, where money can be sent nearly instantaneously with the click of a mouse or the swipe of a finger, from anywhere in the world. With nearly $300 billion in transfers in 2017 alone, Western Union’s new digital foray may spell doom for its competitors.
PSI-Pay is the next chapter in Western Union’s storied history. It is the digital entrance they have been looking for. And with the infrastructure in place to quickly expand their coverage, Western Union is positioned to make a significant impact, this time without the need of their iconic telegraph poles.