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Money 2020: Visa and Western Union partner on global payments

Visa has announced a new strategic agreement with Western Union to implement Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time[1] push payments platform in an effort to bring speed and transparency to the process of sending money around the world.

   Visa and Western Union partner on global payments

Once Western Union’s implementation of Visa Direct is live, Western Union will be able to offer customers an expedited remittance service onto cards with more transparency and an enhanced user experience for both senders and receivers.

Nearly $80 trillion of money is sent via a wire transfer or bank account globally today[2], but the process is harder and more complex than it should be. Money can take days to arrive because of outdated, multi-step, costly methods. 85% of all transactions are still in cash, or other physical currency.[3]

“Together Visa Direct and Western Union are collaborating with plans to scale real-time[4] cross border payments to businesses and consumers in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 130 currencies,” says Bill Sheley, global head of push payments, Visa.

“Western Union has the largest money transfer retail network and this agreement represents a key milestone for our account payout network combining the best of Visa and Western Union‘s cross-border capabilities to enable a world-class payments platform,” continues Jean Claude Farah, executive vice president, Western Union.

“This collaboration enables our customers to have a fast, user-friendly and reliable platform to send funds into billions of accounts across the world.”

In 2018 Western Union completed more than 800 million transactions for consumer and business clients. Their commitment to innovation and convenience has led them to develop and invest in new ways to send money through digital and mobile channels.


[1] Actual fund availability depends on receiving financial institution and region. Visa requires fast-funds enabled issuers to make funds available to their recipient cardholders within a maximum of 30 minutes of approving the transaction. Please refer to your Visa representative and the Visa Direct Original Credit Transaction Global Implementation Guide for more information.

[2] Accenture Market Sizing, 2017, Annual Addressable PV for Real Time Payments, all markets

[3] PWC Payments, A Landscape in Motion, 2015

[4] See footnote 1

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