Western Union made an investment in US firm Walletron, as the money transfer giant adjusts to a market where payments are moving increasingly to mobile devices.
The size of the stake and the amount paid was not revealed by Western Union.
Walletron automates brands’ presence in mobile wallets such as Apple Wallet and Android Pay where users store loyalty, credit and debit cards through a solution called moBills.
In August 2016, Western Union and Walletron struck a commercial alliance, enabling Western Union’s electronic bill payment service Speedpay to offer biller clients the option to add Walletron moBills technology.
The technology offers customers personalised notifications and bill information, as well as what the companies describe as a “streamlined payment experience via their smartphones.”
This is not Western Union’s first crack at the mobile payments market. Previous efforts included an alliance with messaging app WeChat, part of a programme to embed its money transfer capability into third-party messaging or social media platforms, as well as launching its own-brand handset.
Western Union’s position is under attack from mobile remittance firms including Azimo, Xendpay and WorldRemit.