Saudi Telecom Company’s (STC) digital finance arm STC Pay announced it was in talks with Western Union about adding international remittance functionality to the operator’s mobile wallet app.
In a statement, the companies confirmed discussions were ongoing regarding access to Western Union’s cross-border payment technology for the iOS and Android STC Pay app.
The app currently provides a range of mobile cash transfer and payment services within Saudi Arabia. Adding international remittance could boost usage given the high number of inbound and outbound cross-border transactions made through traditional means.
World Bank figures show Saudi Arabia is one of the largest remittance-sending countries in the world, due partly to its large international workforce. It also has an unbanked population of 6.4 million adults.
STC CEO Nasser Al Nasser said a deal with Western Union would allow its mobile users to access transaction types that were previously “the privilege of customers with bank accounts.”
The operator established its digital payments arm in 2017, partly in support of the government’s Saudi Vision 2030 strategy, which includes several targets around digital transformation and reducing use of cash.