Western Union Tapping the Fortune
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Money transfer company Western Union believes in tapping fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.
The company is tying up with microfinance institutions (MFIs) and e-governance service providers to facilitate financial inclusion.
This marks a shift in its India game plan, to offer money transfer services through MFIs besides its current portfolio of India Post network, banks, retail and finance agents.
The Nasdaq-listed company has tied up with e-governance and IT solutions provider CMS Computers, which has government’s mandate to roll out more than 17,000 e-governance locations across India.
“We are looking at multiple classes of trade to catapult growth. Synergies with MFIs and e-governance providers will transform financial service offerings in rural India,” said Kiran Shetty, regional vice-president (India), Western Union.
The company is present in India through ten principal agents who in turn appoint sub-agents. CMS is the sub-agent to Paul Merchants Ltd, the flagship company of the Paul Group of Companies. Last year, overseas remittances into India touched $50 billion. By 2009-end, the number would reach $52 billion, according to World Bank estimates. The rally is fuelled by remittances into rural areas in Punjab, UP, Kerala, Rajasthan, Maharasthra, Andhra Pradesh, UP, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which contribute 60% to Western Union’s business.