Western Union (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, today announced that the company now has mobile money transfer agreements with a total of 26 mobile wallet providers in 22 countries. Twenty of these agreements are with mobile network operators, collectively representing over 285 million subscribers, while the remaining six are with banks and independents. The company has already launched mobile money transfer services in nine countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Canada, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania and the U.S. “According to Gartner, mobile payment services are expected to reach US$245 billion in value worldwide by 2014,” said Diane Scott, Chief Marketing Officer and President, Western Union Ventures. “We are already a leader in the money-transfer category with our global network, with nearly half a million agent locations in 200 countries and territories. And with our strategic alliances with the world’s leading mobile operators, platform providers and banks, we believe we are well-positioned to succeed in digital money transfer as well.” Western Union also recently announced new mobile service launches in Bangladesh with Banglalink, Burkina Faso with Inova, and Madagascar with Telma. These three launches follow four new strategic alliances announced this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, including:
- A strategic alliance with Ericsson to integrate the Western Union Mobile Money Transfer network and the Ericsson suite of mobile commerce solutions;
- An agreement with WIND Italy to launch a service to allow WIND’s 21 million subscribers to send money-transfer transactions directly from their phones;
- An agreement with Roshan to introduce the Western Union Mobile Money Transfer service in Afghanistan;
- An alliance with Millicom International Cellular S.A. to introduce cross-border mobile money transfers in Latin America. The first service will launch in Paraguay under the Giros Tigo brand soon.