Western Union is partnering up with Stellar collaborator Thunes to allow WU clients to transfer funds directly to mobile wallets, according to an official press release published March 21. The partnership will focus on enabling the use of WU’s digital network or WU agent locations to transfer funds via mobile wallet transfers.
Thunes is the rebranded trading name of TransferTo — a cross-border payments network focused on emerging markets, as CoinTelegraph reports. TransferTo previously partnered with open source blockchain project Stellar to test out the integration of blockchain-powered settlements into its services.
Western Union aims to drive financial inclusion globally with this expanded functionality by easing financial access for the underbanked and anyone who is currently not supported by traditional financial service providers.
Western Union recently implied that it’s more receptive to blockchain-based digital currencies. president of WU Global Money Transfer said that cryptocurrencies should become an adopted means of exchange between individuals and business and that the company “would be ready to launch” support.
Western Union is already exploring the use of blockchain technology, not including cryptocurrency, and is participating in ongoing tests with Ripple to examine the cost and time efficiency value of Ripple’s blockchain-powered settlement system.