Western Union Customers Can Now Use Apple Pay for Money Transfers

The Apple Pay universe just keeps on expanding—this time, it’s to international money transfers.

iOS users will now be able to use Apple Pay for their payments when sending money transfers with global payments provider Western Union, the companies announced today.

Khalid Fellahi, senior vice president and general manager for Western Union Digital, noted in the release that 60% of all the money transfers (on a global scale) initiated through the service are conducted through mobile.

This partnership will specifically help expand Western Union’s mobile features. Currently, Western Union is available on desktop, as well as through mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices where users pay by connecting their bank accounts or via debit or credit cards.

For now, Android users are missing out on the new method of pay.

While other money transfer services, such as Money Gram, offer the ability to send money to a mobile wallet (using wallets like M-Pesa), sending money from a mobile wallet is a rarer service.

Apple Pay’s capabilities will be integrated right into the iOS Western Union app, and will allow users to pay for a transfer to all countries where Western Union is supported. The new integration will utilize Apple’s famed Touch ID service for user authentication.

Western Union processed $80 million in peer-to-peer transactions in 2016, over about 270 million transactions. The payments service is available to consumers in more than 200 countries, although they won’t all experience the rollout with Apple immediately.

Presently, paying with Apple’s mobile wallet will only be available for transactions originating in the U.S., but will be expanded for transactions in the United Kingdom later in the year, according to the company.

Fellahi said in the statement:

 By bringing Apple Pay as a payment method in the US and later to the UK, Western Union is delivering an exceptional experience across our mobile platform, allowing our customers to conveniently and reliably move money, whenever they please.

Bank Innovation reached out to Western Union for comment but did not get a response at press time.

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