WU Shop helps Western Union take aim at the online shopping market

Financial services providers are branching out into online shopping with money transfer provider Western Union’s launch of a digital platform for shoppers in Germany and Austria.

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What is WU Shop?

The WU Shop is aimed at Western Union’s MyWU loyalty members and allows them to access more than 12,000 local and global sellers across 60 countries, with cashback offers and minimal shipping costs, in a move the company says ‘alleviates many of the challenges associated with purchasing and sending gifts internationally to loved ones’.

Why has Western Union launched WU Shop?

While not an obvious immediate rival to the multi-billion-dollar Amazon, Western Union’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Hikmet Ersek said WU Shop will build on the payment provider’s established global presence to build market share, starting with a roll out in the US by the end of the year.

“We have long been a trusted provider to our customers in meeting their global money movement needs and this ecosystem has the potential to allow us to leverage our global capabilities and local market expertise to increase the value we provide them,” Ersek said.

He added: “The accelerated adoption of digital and the expansion of our WU.com customer base positions us well to build a consumer ecosystem and drive long-term growth for the company.”

Ersek said Western Union is also ‘on track’ to launch a digital banking pilot in Europe this quarter, starting with the German and Romanian markets.

The company will offer customers ‘an integrated digital banking and money transfer solution, which includes a multi-currency account and debit card’, and Ersek says that alongside expanding the digital shopping platform worldwide, Western Union has the capability to become ‘a significant player in the rapidly expanding global digital banking market’.

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