Western Union debuts WUPay digital platform, misses the point of convenience entirely

Sponsored Links

Modernization's not for everyone -- just take a look at Western Union. That 19th century institution's finally getting its virtual act together, introducing a new digital payments platform today, dubbed WU Pay, that sadly does not involve laundering dough through the late, great ODB's hip hop clan. No, this forward-facing system, built upon its eBillme acquisition, takes a backwards approach, eschewing direct payment options for something more circuitous. Customers that opt-in for the service at checkout from any number of partnered merchants, like Kmart or Sears, won't have to link to their credit card accounts or even offer up any financial info. Instead, once the item is purchased, they'll receive a bill via email that can then be paid online or at one of the company's brick-and-mortar sites. Sound unnecessary to you? We sure agree. Now if only this innovation involved Marty McFly and Jason Alexander personally delivering those funds -- that's a service overhaul we can get behind. Check out the PR after the break.

Show full PR text
Western Union to Launch Innovative Payments Platform: WU® Pay

WU® Pay Will Allow Better, Safer Customer Experience and Options in Online Payments

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services, today announced that it will launch WU® Pay, a new and innovative electronic payments platform that will significantly improve the customer experience and safety for millions of people seeking to make online payments or transfer money.

"WU Pay's payment capabilities, reach and safety create a platform that will have significant appeal to both merchants and consumers."

The new WU Pay platform allows online shoppers in the U.S. to pay for online purchases from their existing bank accounts or in cash at Western Union Agent locations. WU Pay is based on the eBillme platform, which Western Union acquired in October 2011.

The service is available as a payment option through hundreds of online merchant sites, including Sears, Kmart, Buy.com, Tiger Direct, RedCats USA and others. The payment option can also be used to purchase over 60 leading virtual gift cards including Amazon, jcpenney, The Home Depot, Dell, American Airlines and many others.

"WU Pay is an integral part of the ongoing change taking place at Western Union," said Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO of Western Union. "WU Pay not only propels us further into the digital payments space, it improves our core money movement capabilities by combining the strengths of our brick-and-mortar Agent network and WesternUnion.com with the proven eBillme platform we acquired last year. This is a truly powerful combination of physical and online assets that will make safe and secure e-commerce possible for just about anyone."

WU Pay places a premium on safety. Customers who use WU Pay are not required to share any account, credit card or other financial information to do a transaction online. The way it works is simple: Shoppers choose the option at checkout page, and the order is confirmed with a bill sent to their e-mail address. Consumers pay the bill the same way they pay utilities, loans, insurance, and other bills, either through their online bank account or at one of over 44,000 Western Union® Agent locations in the U.S.

Merchants were drawn to eBillme because it allows them to offer more payment options, which helps acquire new customers. WU Pay also will be a lower-price option compared to other e-payment alternatives currently available.

In addition, customers using WesternUnion.com will have WU Pay as a payment option so they can pay for their money transfer transactions directly from their bank accounts.

"Western Union's ownership and capabilities make WU Pay a significantly stronger offering than we had as eBillme alone," said Marwan Forzley, eBillme founder, who leads the WU Pay program with Western Union. "WU Pay's payment capabilities, reach and safety create a platform that will have significant appeal to both merchants and consumers."

Additional information about WU Pay is available at: www.westernunion.com/wupay.
Popular on Engadget