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Western Union (WU) Provides Cross-Border Payments in Japan

Zacks Equity Research

Western Union Co. WU has tied up with City Express to enable business-to-consumer (B2C) cross-border transfer of funds in Japan.

The tie-up with City Express, one of the leading remittance companies in Japan, will enable global used-car enthusiasts to buy from BE FORWARD, one of Japan’s leading used-car exporters.

To facilitate this agreement, Western Union will offer its proprietary Quick Pay service, which is live in eight countries, including the Bahamas, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mongolia, New Zealand, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Customers in these countries will be able to purchase cars online on beforward.jp. The payment can then be made in person at a Western Union Agent location in their country of residence.

This agreement is in line with Western Union’s strategy of expanding its cross-border business. Its global payment network enables customers to pay for products and services easily.

Cross-border payments provide a huge business opportunity. The market size is more than $22 trillion and it continues to grow on the back of international commerce, migration and changing economic trends. The demand from customers for a fast, frictionless, secure and transparent payment mechanism bodes well for cross-border payments market.

Western Union has implemented real-time cross-border transfer and payment capabilities via different channels. It has also taken operational steps to make its platform more agile by investing in new technology, implementing lean processes and adjusting its operating model.

With this foundation in place, the company will focus on opening its platform for more third-party use cases in both cross-border money transfer and payment solutions. It believes this will provide an incremental long-term revenue opportunity in areas such as e-commerce and marketplaces where it has already collaborated with Amazon.

Western Union’s three-year target assumes 2% to 3% overall revenue growth but over the long term, it expects new cross-border solution services for third parties to contribute incremental growth to its business.

Year to date, the stock has gained 58.6% compared with the industry’s growth of 41.2%.

Western Union carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Cardtronics PLC CATM, Global Payments Inc. GPN and Fiserv, Inc. FISV.While Cardtronics and Global Payments sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Fiserv carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Global Payments and Cardtronics have surpassed earnings estimates in the last four quarters, by 2.42% and 28.8%, respectively, on average.

Fiserv beat estimates in two of the last four reported quarters by 0.99%, on average.

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