This announcement is in business wire and likely not a surprise to most readers given all the cross-border payments activity we have been (and will continue) seeing. Google Pay has added the Western Union network for its users, starting in the U.S., and able to initially send to India and Singapore.
The release suggests that full global availability is upcoming. So this is a clear play for P2P remittance, and perhaps the timing is somewhat attuned to pandemic-related difficulties in India, although there is no direct mention of such.
‘Commencing today, Google Pay users in the U.S. will enjoy a seamless peer-to-peer in-app experience when sending cross-border payments to family and friends through Western Union’s global financial network of bank accounts, wallets and retail locations throughout India and Singapore. Users may fund their transactions using a Google Payi bank account or card….Google Pay users in the U.S. will be able to send money to their family and friends globally by year-end. Upon worldwide activation, they can choose to send funds to billions of bank accounts, millions of wallets and cards, as well as more than half a million retail locations in 200 countries and territories in minutesii. ‘
As far as we can tell, there is no B2B target here, but surely C2B merchant payments are in play to start and we would expect further announcements down the road, given Western Union Business Solutions capabilities. We’ll keep an eye on that one, but for now, a new and easy experience through a phone app. Western Union benefits by embedding its capability within a large user base.
Google Pay’s user base includes 150 million people in 40 countries. The company’s redesigned Google Pay app (Android and iOS) gives people a safe, simple and helpful way to pay and manage their finances.
‘ “Cross-border payments are not just a lifeline for loved ones; they form the financial backbone for many economies,” said Josh Woodward, Director of Product Management, Google Pay. “For many people with families abroad, sending money home is something they do as frequently as every month. By teaming up with Western Union, we are providing a way for Google Pay users to send money quickly, safely and reliably from the Google Pay app.”…Swanback adds, “This collaboration demonstrates the demand and accelerated need for our advanced payment capabilities. Our platform services offered through digital partnerships allow us to serve more customers globally and continue to advance Western Union’s growth strategy.” ‘
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group