Western Union Makes Moves in China (Sept. 16, 2013)
Sept. 16, 2013
Western Union has made a pair of major inroads into the Chinese banking channel. Through a deal struck last week with Shanghai-based payment card network UnionPay, the money transfer giant now can reach 95 percent of all personal bank accounts in China. The pact enables Western Union customers in 23 countries to make direct-to-bank transfers to China via select Western Union retail locations and online. The company also has launched account-based money transfers with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), enabling the bank’s more than 400 million customers to direct money transfers into their bank accounts via online banking.
“Western Union, UnionPay and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China share a common vision: moving money from different parts of the world, giving customers choice and convenience, and helping them grow and achieve their potential,” said Western Union president and CEO Hikmet Ersek. In July, Western Union announced it would bring direct-to-bank transfer services to India, and the company continues to expand its prepaid offerings across the globe.
UnionPay also has been in international expansion mode. Late last year, the network inked a deal to enable its 3.2 billion cardholders to shop online at electronic merchants that accept Discover. In April, the network announced the first UnionPay card of any kind to be released in the U.S., a prepaid travel card issued by The Bancorp, with FIS acting as processor.