Mastercard and Western Union have joined forces to integrate Mastercard Send into the Western Union Money Transfer service and facilitate direct fund transfer to the debit cards in the wallets of millions of Americans.

The partnership opens a new channel for American consumers to conveniently send money via Western Union to the debit cards, including non-Mastercard cards.

The new service will initially offer digital funds transfers within US via website and WU mobile app, enabling senders to use US debit, credit and bank accounts to fund the payment.

A 16-digit debit card number is required to complete the transfer.

Mastercard enterprise partnerships senior vice president Leigh Amaro said: “With Mastercard Send, Western Union customers now have a powerful new way to send funds directly to the debit cards in the wallets of millions of Americans.

“Today’s consumer is busier than ever, and any option to make everyday tasks like money transfer more convenient is hugely important. Western Union is giving consumers one more option to make the service work for their needs.”

Western Union chief strategy product and marketing officer Libby Chambers added: “Western Union is synonymous with fast, reliable global money transfer and payments.

“We’re offering customers more choice and convenience when they send and receive money. This new capability we’ve developed with Mastercard means customers will be able to send funds directly to their receivers’ debit card, with speed and ease.”

The new money transfer and payment service is expected to be available in early 2018.