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Visa Joins Forces With Western Union to Provide ‘Lifeline’ to People Relying on Remittances

Payments giant Visa has entered a seven-year agreement with Western Union, the money transfer firm, to help Western Union customers send money to their family and friends’ eligible Visa cards and bank accounts in 40 countries across five regions.

Thanks to the collaboration, Western Union customers will also be able to receive Visa prepaid cards in select markets offering an innovative solution that bridges the physical and digital world.

Countries covered by the partnership include the US, Canada, UK, Turkey, Romania, Poland, Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Egypt, Kenya and Uganda.

The agreement encompasses card issuance, Western Union’s integration with Visa Direct, and value-added services delivery including risk products.

Western Union and Visa are also developing disbursement programs for humanitarian organisations and governments to support the delivery of critical funds during a disaster. The programmes intend to support emergency and humanitarian payouts, cross-border pension payouts, and domestic benefits and disbursement payouts.

Chris Newkirk, global head of commercial and money movement solutions at Visa, commented on the need for the partnership: “People rely on remittances to send lifeline payments to their loved ones overseas. When we consider the urgency and need for accessibility, secure payment options with added convenience can make all the difference.

“Visa’s global scale and Western Union’s digital capabilities are revolutionizing how customers send funds around the world. We are proud to offer more people fast and efficient solutions for cross-border payments.”

Sam Jawad, head of ecosystem at Western Union, also discussed the partnership: “Aspiring populations around the world rely on Western Union to provide them with innovative and accessible financial services that offer flexibility, value and trust. By strengthening our strategic collaboration with Visa, together we will deliver impactful products and services that can help empower our customers to build a life of opportunity for themselves and their loved ones.”

The agreement builds on Western Union’s existing integrations with Visa Direct, which enabled US and European customers to send and receive funds directly to eligible Visa cardholders overseas.

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