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Remittance firm Western Union has introduced Digital Location – a new channel – to continue its services amid the widespread lockdown enforced by various countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The lockdown has forced some Western Union Agent locations to shutter on a temporary basis.

The firm will now allow customers across Austria, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Oman to connect to a money transfer personal-service assistant through voice or video call.

This service will be available in various languages.

Customers will be able to make payments electronically financed by card for payout into the firm’s network of bank accounts, wallets or Agent locations.

Plans are on to make the service available in more geographies eventually.

Commenting on the move, Western Union president and CEO Hikmet Ersek said: “Due to limited services via retail locations in some areas impacted by restricted movement guidelines, we are seeing increased demand for our online services. We are happy to now offer another way for our customers to reach out to their loved ones with care and support.”

“It is more critical than ever to enable our customers to send money to family and loved ones or help importers and exporters to pay their suppliers.”