Western Union to Grow Electronic Channels - CEO

Article excerpt

BANGALORE, Sept. 14 (Reuters) - Western Union is to focus more on developing electronic channels such as prepaid cards and web offerings, its new CEO said in an interview.Hikmet Ersek, 50, who took over as chief executive on Sept. 1 after 11 years at the world's largest payment transfer company, told Reuters that although digital payments bring in only 2 percent of total revenue now, they should become a meaningful revenue source.''Basically, we're selling the same product - cross-border money transfer - in a different channel without cannibalizing our main money transfer business, which means we are attracting new customer segments,'' he said.As an alternative to using cash to remit money, customers could transfer money via prepaid card from agent locations, Ersek said, adding this trend had already begun in some countries.Western Union was on track to meet its forecast of having 750,000 prepaid cards issued by the year-end, Ersek said.''It's a growing sector, it's growing fast and we believe we could be a major player worldwide due to our global presence,'' he added. …