The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement, and JD Digits, a leading digital technology company in China with 400 million individual customers, today entered into a strategic agreement to join forces to advance digital cross-border money movement and payments for global consumers and businesses in China.
Western Union and JD Digits are exploring new ways to combine the convenience of online and mobile financial technology (fintech) services to allow fast and convenient cross-border remittances and payments. In the first phase, both companies will focus on moving remittances from across the world into the mobile wallets and bank accounts of 400 million JD Digits individual customers.
Cross border money transfers between individuals play a significant role in China. As the world’s second largest receiving country in the world, China received USD63.8 billion and sent USD2.8 billion last year, according to World Bank.
Announcing the collaboration at the headquarters of JD Digits in Beijing today, Khalid Fellahi, Senior Vice President and General Manager Western Union Digital, said, “It is exciting to be here in Beijing to formalize the commencement of a powerful relationship to enhance digital money movement and payments for one of the world’s largest economies.”
“Western Union’s money movement platform has set the standard for international digital and physical money movement by connecting almost every country and territory in the world. It allows us to effectively span consumer money movement and business payments globally while staying ahead of fintech advancement. It is this unrivalled capability that is attracting new forms of collaboration, but the finer point is our ability to uniquely connect the digital and physical worlds of money in any configuration to suit the ultimate end user,” said Fellahi.
“We are delighted to be teaming up with JD Digits, one of China’s most innovative digital technology companies to serve tech-savvy Chinese customers. This agreement ushers in a new era for our more than 23-year-old relationship with China,” said Molly Shea, Senior Vice President and General Manager Western Union Asia Pacific.
Western Union’s cross-border, cross-currency platform – technology stack, APIs, foreign exchange and settlement engine, digital footprint, compliance infrastructure and vast global account, wallet and retail network – processed an average of 32 transactions every second and moved $300 billion across 130 currencies in 2017.
More recently the company has attracted new forms of collaboration including a recent engagement with Amazon which allows international customers in select countries to pay in person, in local currency, for their Amazon purchases. Western Union is also powering Kenya based Safaricom wallet holders to move money from their mobile wallets to the world.
"JD Digits is accelerating all efforts in developing digital technology to make people’s lives better. The collaboration with Western Union, a global leader in money movement, is another great example on how we transform the way that customers can transfer money or make payments quickly and easily, " said Xu Ling, Head of Customers Service Unit, Vice President of JD Digits.
JD Digits was formerly known as JD Finance until it was comprehensively brand-upgraded in November 2018. Its operational purpose is to connect finance and real industry by using digital technology, boosting the influence of the Internet, enhancing the digital and intelligent development of industries, fostering the development of the real economy and creating greater social value. With its cutting-edge technologies and expertise in data technology, AI, and IoT, JD Digits has been involved in many fields, from digital finance, digital city, digital agriculture, digital marketing and digital campus services. In the future, JD Digits is going to further explore current business patterns and will enter more real industrial sectors.