The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) has joined forces with Elektra, a Mexico-based financial services provider and specialty retailer, to offer a more diverse range of money transfer options throughout Mexico. However, WU’s shares experienced a 2.8% decline on September 13, reflecting broader market trends.
Elektra is also a leading non-bank cash advance service provider in the United States. Thanks to this recent collaboration, Western Union users in Mexico who have an active account at Banco Azteca, a subsidiary of Elektra, can easily receive money from the United States by simply sending a message through a Chatbot.
A Chatbot is an artificial intelligence tool that enables businesses to interact with customers over the Internet, eliminating the need for human representatives. This tool is integrated and can be used within most major messaging apps.
To take advantage of this new digital capability, Western Union users need to initially save the Banco Azteca App and the Chatbot’s name as “My money transfer” on their mobile phones. Subsequently, they can initiate a conversation from WhatsApp by sending a text via Chatbot using the phone number registered with their Banco Azteca account. After confirming the transaction number and amount, the money is deposited in near real-time into the beneficiary’s account. To enhance transparency, a money transfer receipt will be shared through Chatbot and email.
This partnership underscores Western Union’s commitment to establishing a strong presence as a leading money transfer service provider in Mexico. Increased usage of WU’s money transfer services is expected to boost its money transfer revenues, a significant contributor to its overall revenue.
Western Union already has an extensive network of retail locations in the country, and its recent investments in technology for greater convenience, comfort, and flexibility are poised to strengthen its nationwide presence. Elektra, an innovative technology solutions provider, appears to be the ideal partner to complement WU’s efforts.
The ability to facilitate mobile phone-based money transfers in a country like Mexico, where a significant portion of the population uses WhatsApp, is a timely move by Western Union. The country is a hub for substantial electronic transfers, driven by widespread digital adoption and a growing number of Internet users.
This year, Western Union expanded its money transfer services across Mexico, making them available at 332 branch locations of Fundacion Donde and more than 1,800 locations of the leading retail chain, 7-Eleven Mexico.
Over the past six months, shares of Western Union have gained 17.7%, outperforming the industry’s growth rate of 13.6%.
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