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TheStreet Open House

Western Union Is Helping the Underbanked Shop Online

Stocks in this article: WU

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Don't have a credit card? You can still shop on the Web, thanks to a digital payment platform Western Union (WU) debuted Thursday that makes it easier for people without a credit or debit card to make purchases online.  

The service, called WU Pay, allows users to get a bill for their online purchases (similar to one they might get for utilities or insurance) that can be paid using their bank's online bill-payment options or with cash at a participating Western Union location.  

Western Union has a digital payment platform it says can make it easier for people without a credit or debit card to shop online.

So far, this payment option is available at hundreds of retailers, including Sears, Kmart, Buy.com, Tiger Direct, RedCats and American Eagle Outfitters. Other retailers, including Amazon, JCPenney, The Home Depot, Dell and American Airlines, are allowing users to buy virtual gift cards that can be used on their Web sites.

WU Pay is based on the eBillme platform, which Western Union acquired in October.

The company is not charging a fee to pay bills from another online account. Customers who pay by cash at a Western Union location will be required to pay a service fee ranging from $2.95 to $6.95.

According to Western Union, customers are not required to share any account, credit card or other financial information to make a transaction online. The company is also running a promotion that lets first-time users earn $20 cash back when they spend $100 or more in the gift card mall.

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