Western Union: Legacy Company to Global Digital Front-Runner

Western Union

The transfer of funds between individuals across the globe has transformed digitally through the global digital remittance electronic funds transfer, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. There are various digital global remittance service providers; however, over the years, Western Union has emerged as the undisputed world remittance leader.

The Global Digital Remittance Markets

The digital remittance market has significantly increased globally, becoming essential in the transfer of funds between individuals and businesses. The global digital remittance market is estimated to facilitate approximately $700 billion in 2020, which is significant growth from $540 billion in 2019.

In addition, the digital remittance market has enabled individuals and organizations to invest in foreign countries directly, household money transfers, and the systems provide global social protection. Western Union has become a digital remittance leader, with transaction flows between consumers and businesses growing 28% in the market share.

Types of Global Digital Remittance

There are two remittance types: outward remittance and inward remittance. Outward remittance involves any transfer of money outside a country. For example, sending money to your family overseas is a type of outward remittance.

In contrast, inward remittance is the transfer of funds into a country. So, for example, the overseas family receiving your money will be considered as an inward remittance. The company facilitates these remittances worldwide with its bases in over 200 countries, enabling individuals and businesses to perform outward and inward remittance contributing to its identity as a global digital remittance leader.

Global Payment Network

Global digital payment service providers should have a global payment network system to facilitate the electronic sending and receiving of money. This includes enabling transactions between bank accounts, cards, and wallets. Additionally, there should be a currency portfolio for the different currencies and networks in other countries to achieve global remittance. For example, Western Union as the global digital remittance leader, enables the digital sending of money in 75 countries, out of which 50 countries have transactional mobile applications in addition to its 130-currency portfolio.

Western Union provides for digital receiving of funds whose network involves 125 countries with an estimated 550,000 locations in different rural, urban, and remote areas. Thus, it’s global digital remittance network allows customers to choose between paying out in retail locations or through real-time digital banking.

How Does Digital Remittance Work?

Through an established network, the digital remittance service provider enables their customers to perform their transactions through applications, online, or at an agent location.

The recipient can choose the convenient way to withdraw their money from the same options, such as paying out to a bank account or a retail agent. Western Union, as an example, has all these options for their customers across their digital remittance network with agents for in-person transactions across their different locations and their digital remittance platforms providing multiple funding options including bank accounts, cash, and cards.

Customer’s Growth and Experiences

Global digital remittance success rests on the customers’ digital experiences in their transactions. Therefore, the digital remittance providers should ensure that their customers’ activities, such as registrations, transparency in the transaction flow, and high performance of their webpages, ultimately contribute to customer base growth. ACountries leading the adoption of digital money transfer are the United States, France, Germany, and Australia and the United Kingdom.


Digital remittance has transformed money transactions across the globe, with its continued growth and popularity illustrated in the $702 billion remitted in 2020. There are different digital remittance providers. However, Western Union is the front runner as the digital remittance leader providing the two digital remittance services. It has a global payment network system and gives different options for digital remittance, which has led to its consumer growth across the globe.