This piece is posted in IBSintelligence and announces a new cross-border capability as part of an MoU between Western Union and NIPL, the international arm of India’s NPCI. The agreement allows inbound international payments to India from a Western Union initiator to be posted in real-time to an Indian bank account. So, basically this speeds up the local clearing and settlement for Western Union money transfers within India, potentially (or totally) replacing the NEFT payments that are used by the traditional correspondent banking network used by Western Union.
‘“Western Union’s account payout network enables payout into billions of accounts globally – these accounts are not just limited to bank accounts; it’s any consumer account globally, whether it be at a bank or even a mobile wallet or card,” said Sohini Rajola, Head of Middle East and Asia Pacific, Western Union. “Customers want more, and our account payout network capability represents a natural evolution in Western Union’s cross-border platform and omni-channel strategy to reach new digital-savvy, banked and mobile enabled consumers.”…
“We are excited to collaborate with NIPL, expanding and optimizing our account payout footprint and ultimately further strengthening our joint offering. India is a strategic market for Western Union and this collaboration is key to our efforts to expand real time payments solutions, expanding the breadth of our current offerings to ensure customers have all the options available to them to move money the way they prefer,” added Rajola.’
Many readers will know that reducing the expense of cross-border remittance payments (mostly a P2P model) has been a sticking point for organizations like the World Bank and BIS, so many organizations have been striving to improve their structure to enhance speed and reduce costs. As far as we can tell from the posting, there is no B2B component to this agreement, but we would expect that small businesses would be included through a UPI interface, at least at some point.
‘“We are delighted to join hands with Western Union to facilitate instantaneous and interoperable cross border digital payments,” said Ritesh Shukla, CEO, NIPL. “This strategic partnership will benefit millions of Indian citizens to seamlessly receive money from overseas. We at NIPL, constantly strive to create a robust and innovative payment infrastructure to create a superior customer experience. We are confident that this initiative will stand as a testimony to NIPL’s technological capabilities and vision of scaling their unique offerings globally.”’
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group