(WU) Western Union Rolls Out New Service

Western Union Business Solutions, a unit of world’s leading money transfer company Western Union Co. (WU), has announced in agreement with TouchNet the introduction of an integrated cross-border payment system for international students.

The new service will provide the international students with twin benefits. They will be able to make payments for their tuition fees in local currencies directly from their bank accounts or pay the fees in cash at participating Western Union branches globally.

While the first option will provide the students will flexibility and choice in choosing their currency for payment, the second option will provide them a convenient access to Western Union’s vast agent location spanning 160 countries and territories.

This new payment solution for students will be replaced by TouchNet’s existing service provided through U.Commerce Systems, a universal commerce management solution for Higher Education.

With an increasing number of students opting to study at foreign locations, Western Union eyes an attractive opportunity for cross-border payment option in the education sector. Though initially the facility will be launched at selected number of institutions, including TouchNet’s current client base, Western Union gradually plans to roll out the service to all higher education institutions.

Western Union is expanding aggressively into new products and new regions. Last week, the company announced that it has successfully connected with 30,000 ATMs within a span of year in the continents of Asia and Europe. It is also developing other electronic channels such as money transfer via mobile devices, online and also on phone.

The company disclosed that there are 60 banks, which have agreed to join Western Union’s e-channel initiative by offering Western Union Account-Based Money Transfer Services (ABMT). Among these banks, 30 have already activated the service, while the remaining are in line to follow.

Western Union, competing with Dallas, Texas-based Moneygram International Inc. (MGI), retains a Zacks rank # 3, implying a ‘Hold’ recommendation over the short term (1-3 months).

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