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October 1, 2021updated 13 Oct 2021 7:04am

Western Union partners African banks to boost cross-border transfers

By Shalini mani

Western Union is forging alliance with major financial institutions in Africa to facilitate cross-border payments for African citizens.

The firm has launched digital money transfer services on the mobile banking apps of KCB Bank Kenya, the Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) and the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank (Postbank).

The move will enable customers of these banks to send money overseas from their bank accounts, wallets, and cards to Western Union agent locations in over 200 countries and territories.

Western Union in Africa, Europe and CIS senior vice-president and general manager for Massimiliano Alvisini said: “Customers, globally and in Africa, want flexibility and trust in their cross-border money transfers and payments. At Western Union, we give them both.

“We are delighted with the opportunity to integrate our global money movement capabilities to enhance the customer experience of major African financial institutions.”

While making cross-border payments, customers of the partner banks will also be able to choose for the receiver to have the money received in their bank account or at a Western Union agent location.

In addition, they can receive international money transfers directly to their bank accounts, depending on the sender’s residing country.

KCB Bank Kenya, a subsidiary of KCB Group, has 202 branches across Africa. The group has subsidiaries in Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan, and a Commercial Representative office in Ethiopia.

Postbank, which is fully owned by the Government of Kenya, maintains 97 branches across the country while DTB focuses on the country’s small- and medium- enterprise sector.

Western Union recently expanded its partnership with micro-financial service provider Cebuana Lhuillier to launch digital money transfers in the Philippines.

In August, the firm tied-up with Bank Syariah Indonesia to offer its services across more BSI locations in the country.

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