Western Union (WU) is moving deeper into the social payments space amid the rise of outlets like Venmo, but is especially focused on cross-border transactions.
Western Union's version of Venmo, WU Connect, launched last October. It enables users to send money overseas through the app.
"We're very different from Venmo," said Raj Agrawal, chief financial officer of Western Union, based on Englewood, Colo. "We are focused on cross-border payments -- that's our strength."
Agrawal said the company is using the WU Connect platform to partner with Viber and WeChat. Viber's U.S. users can send up to $499 to Western Union's 500,000 locations across some 200 countries.
"Venmo is really a domestic money transfer business," he said. "With WeChat and Viber, we're focused on a cross-border money transfer. We think the ability to send money from point A to point B anywhere in the world using a variety of channels is where we need to go."
U.S. mobile payments totaled $8.71 billion in 2015 and are expected to soar to $27.05 billion in 2016, according to eMarketer.
While Agrawal said Western Union will be able to serve more customers via social and mobile platforms, the company's well-known retail business isn't going away.
"Our retail business is key and critical to our success for the future," Agrawal added. "Even our digitally imitated services on WU.com -- the vast majority of them pay out into a retail location."
Shares of Western Union have returned roughly 4% since the start of the year. The broad S&P 500 has declined by 3%.