MasterCard (NYSE: MA) and the Western Union Company announced today a dedicated international payments service that will increase the flexibility with which small and medium-sized businesses can conduct cross-border trade. The new direct foreign-exchange capability will be provided by Western Union Business Solutions, the business payments unit of the Western Union Company, and available to all companies that use the MasterCard Business Network, an online resource that helps streamline business operations and enhance productivity for small and mid-sized businesses.
“At MasterCard, our goal is to help small and medium-sized businesses compete and succeed in an increasingly global market by providing the resources, tools and products they need to thrive,” said Jay Singer, group head, U.S. commercial products, MasterCard. “Our new service with Western Union will give these businesses an added option for situations when a vendor may not accept credit card payments, or when business card limits may be insufficient for a specific invoice.”
The joint offering will be available in the United States. Customers will have access to a dedicated online foreign payments portal at www.mastercardbusinessnetwork.com, which will feature benefits including:
- The ability to send international payments in over 135 currencies directly from their bank account to a foreign recipient’s bank account from a computer, tablet or mobile phone;
- Real-time quotes and transparent and competitive foreign-exchange pricing;
- Dedicated customer service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Over 95% of American importers in 2011 were small and medium-sized enterprises, which demonstrates how significant they are to the American economy, 1” said Raj Agrawal, President, Western Union Business Solutions. “Working with global partners and managing international cash flow is clearly an important part of their operations. I am delighted to be working with MasterCard to help SMEs be as competitive as possible in the global marketplace, whether they trade with near neighbors such as Canada or countries as far away as Kenya, Indonesia and Brazil.”In 2011, MasterCard and the Western Union Company announced a global agreement to help make electronic payments, including prepaid cards and money transfers, more efficient and convenient for consumers around the world.