• Retail Dive

Walmart to add Western Union services to stores

By Tatiana Walk-Morris

Published Jan. 21, 2021

Dive Brief:

  • In a move that further expands its financial service offerings, Walmart is integrating Western Union money transfers into its locations across the U.S., the retailer announced on Tuesday.

  • Walmart customers will be able to use Western Union's domestic and international money transfer, bill payment, and money order offerings at more than 4,700 locations. The retailer will introduce Western Union's services starting in spring 2021, per the press release.

  • Customers can either have funds paid out at 550,000 retail locations or into bank accounts, wallets or cards, according to a press release.

Dive Insight:

In recent years, Walmart has been collaborating with financial service providers to earn more of its consumer's spending.

Walmart's partnership with Western Union stems from the fact that consumers rely on the retailer for buying their essentials and completing financial transactions, according to the release. The retailer said that it has provided financial services to customers for more than 20 years and has saved them more than $1.5 billion through those services.

The deal with Western Union signals Walmart's broader push to develop its financial service offerings. Earlier this month, the retailer announced that it was starting a fintech company in partnership with venture capital firm Ribbit Capital to create new "affordable financial solutions" for shoppers and staff. Walmart will own the majority of the startup's shares but didn't provide much detail on its plans.

Walmart has also partnered with Affirm to provide installment payment options and Green Dot to operate a prepaid debit card called MoneyCard.

The partnership allows both companies to serve customers who rely on them for the money to make needed purchases at a time when speed, security, convenience and trust are paramount, Jean Claude Farah, president of global network at Western Union, said in a statement.

Western Union will share Walmart's roof with fellow remittance company MoneyGram — a company Western Union sought to acquire last year, according to Bloomberg, citing an unnamed source.

The deal with Walmart follows Western Union's 2019 partnership with Amazon to let its customers purchase goods in person at local Western Union locations using their native currency. Later on that year, Amazon announced that it would permit U.S. customers to use cash to make purchases at 15,000 Western Union locations across the country.

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