Western Union with over 400,000 Agent locations worldwide in over 200 countries, has recently extended its relationship with Emirates International Exchange, one of the leading exchange houses in the UAE, to launch its international business payments service, the Western Union Business Solutions, in the UAE.
It also has acquired the global business-payments division of Travelex Holdings Ltd. for $974.6 million in cash, as the payment-transfer company seeks to expand in the growing cross-border trade market. Travelex Global Business Payments' projected revenue is roughly £150 million. The deal expands Western Union's business-to-business payments unit and boosts its roster of correspondent banks, which use the wire-transfer company's platform to transact payments for small and midsize businesses.
Western Union, best known for its vast consumer remittance network, is competing with banks and other payments companies in the business-to-business cross-border segment, where small businesses that need to make cross-border payments often have to rely on local banks, which can charge high fees for slow execution, said Zilvinas Bareisis, a consultant at Celent. Hikmet Ersek, Western Union's chief executive, said that more acquisitions in the business are possible, ‘but they have to fit in with our strategy.’